Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Bridges, Ana

Committee Member/Reader

Niño, Michael

Committee Member/Second Reader

Zamboanga, Byron

Committee Member/Third Reader

Plavcan, Joseph


Native Americans experience significant health disparities such as increased rates of
cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and mental illness. Recent research has suggested that historical trauma may be a contributing factor. This meta-analysis examined the association between historical trauma and health outcomes in Native Americans in the United States and Canada. Data from 14 studies (N = 14,698, 35 effect sizes) examining the physical health, mental health, and substance use domains and using the Historical Loss Scale were collected for analysis. Possible moderating factors were also examined. Overall, a small, significant association (r =.124) was found between historical trauma and health outcomes. The association was significant
for mental health outcomes (r = .181), but not physical health (r = .169) or substance use (r =.038). Effect sizes were not moderated by age group, gender, or reservation residency. Findings largely support the theory of historical trauma as a contributor to health inequities. Future research is necessary, and should be expanded to further test the Historical Loss Scale, collect more health outcome data, and survey Native Americans across the United States.


Historical trauma, health outcomes, colonization, Native Americans