The study of childhood posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has grown in recent years, and several variables have been closely linked to the etiology of this condition. Prominent examples include dissociation, trauma-related cognitions, and depression, but no empirically based model regarding these variables has been presented. We examined 90 adolescents housed in a state-run facility for youths who experienced maltreatment, violence, and/or other traumas. Utilizing psychometrically strong dependent measures, we identified a structural equation model with depression as a key mediating variable between (1) dissociation and trauma-related cognitions and (2) PTSD symptomatology. In addition, African American status was found to weaken this relationship, whereas multiracial status was found to strengthen this relationship. These results are discussed within the context of contemporary integrative theories regarding the developmental psychopathology of PTSD in youths.