Schwartz et al.’s research study, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Among African Americans in an Inner City Mental Health Clinic” (2005) examines both the rates of PTSD prevalence and corresponding positive identification (or diagnosis) of African American patients at an outpatient mental health clinic in Atlanta Georgia over an 18 month period, arguing that rates of PTSD and trauma are higher in the population of low-income, African American mental health patients  than in the general population, and that in this study population, PTSD is under- diagnosed. To this end, Schwartz et al. presents a statistical analysis of a variety of assessments, surveys, and inventories (e.g. the Traumatic Events Inventory; the “PSS” or PTSD Symptom Scale) administered to 184 participating patients, which, taken together, constituted a full diagnostic screen for the diagnosis of PTSD per the DSM-IV. Through the comparative examination of this data in light of reference information on rates of prevalence and diagnosis of PTSD in both the study, and general populations, the authors show that that the study population experiences an extremely high rate of severe trauma, and a high rate of PTSD, relative to the general population; additionally, the authors contend that the population is under-diagnosed. This study is in concurrence with additional work (referenced within) that examines a particular aspect of the clinical impact of violence on impoverished, inner-city communities, and serves to increase recognition of both this correlation as well as the recognition of the morbidity of PTSD and trauma-related disorders in the adult population.

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