alexa Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse in Caribbean Young
ISSN: 2167-1044

Journal of Depression and Anxiety
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Research Article

Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse in Caribbean Young Adults and Its Association with Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress, and Skin Bleaching

Caryl James1*, Azizi A Seixas2*, Abigail Harrison1, Girardin Jean-Louis2, Mark Butler2, Ferdinand Zizi2 and Alafia Samuels3
1Center for Healthful Behavior Change, Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, NY, USA
2The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, West Indies
3The University of the West Indies, Cavehill, Barbados, West Indies
Corresponding Authors : Caryl James, PhD
CEDS, Lecturer
Department of Sociology, Psychology, and Social Work
Faculty of Social Sciences
The University of the West Indies, Mona
Kingston, 6, Jamaica, West Indies
Tel: 876-927-1660
E-mail: caryl.james02@ uwimona.edu.jm
  Azizi Seixas, PhD
Postodoctoral Fellow
NYU Langone School of Medicine
Center for Healthful Behavior Change
227 East 30th St, 6th Floor
New York NY 10016, USA
Tel: 646-501-2672
E-mail: Azizi.Seixas@ nyumc.org
Received: October 23, 2015; Accepted: December 27, 2015; Published: December 31, 2015
Citation: James C, Seixas AA, Harrison A, Jean-Louis G, Butler M, et al. (2015) Childhood Physical and Sexual Abuse in Caribbean Young Adults and Its Association with Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress, and Skin Bleaching. J Depress Anxiety 5:214. doi:10.4172/2167-1044.1000214
Copyright: © 2015 James C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

1.1 Background: The global prevalence of skin depigmentation/skin bleaching among blacks, estimated at 35%, is on the rise and is associated with a host of negative health and medical consequences. Current etiological approaches do not fully capture the emotional and psychological underpinnings of skin bleaching. The current study investigated the potential mediating role of depression, or post-traumatic stress symptoms (avoidance and hyperarousal) on the relationship between childhood physical and sexual abuse (CPSA) and skin bleaching. 1.2 Methods: A total of 1226 university participants (ages 18-30 years and 63.4% female) from three Caribbean countries (Jamaica, Barbados, and Grenada) provided data for the current analysis. They all completed self-reported measures of general demographic information along with the short screening scale for posttraumatic stress disorder (DSM-IV), childhood trauma, and skin bleaching questions. 1.3 Results: The prevalence of skin bleaching in our study was 25.4%. Our findings showed that individuals who bleached their skin were more likely to have been abused as children (21.6% versus 13.5%, p<.001), were more likely to have significant symptoms of trauma (34.1% versus 24.0%, p=.005), and were more likely to have significant depression (43.7% versus 35.1%, p=.032). We found that trauma-related hyperarousal symptoms positively mediated the relationship between childhood physical and sexual abuse and skin bleaching (Indirect Effect=0.03, p<.05), while avoidance (Indirect Effect=.000, p>.05) and depressive (Indirect Effect=.005, p>.05) symptoms did not. 1.4 Conclusion: The presence of trauma symptoms and childhood physical and sexual abuse (CPSA) may increase the likelihood of skin bleaching. Findings suggest that further exploration is needed to ascertain if the presence of skin bleaching warrants is being also screened for trauma.

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