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Patterns Of Trauma And Violence In 19th-century-born African American And Euro-American Females.

C. D. L. Cova
Published 2012 · Psychology

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Abstract Trauma and violence has been a topic of interest to biological anthropologists. This study examined the presence of trauma, including interpersonal violence, in a sample ( n  = 256) of African American and Euro-American females of low socioeconomic status, born from 1800 to 1877, from the Terry Collection. Individuals were statistically analyzed according to ancestry (African American and Euro-American), birth (Antebellum, Civil War, Reconstruction), and birth status (Enslaved Black, Pre-Reconstruction White, Liberated Black, Reconstruction White) cohorts to determine if differences in trauma and fracture patterning existed between African Americans and Euro-Americans. Results indicated that there were significant differences. African American females had higher rates of cranial, nasal, and hand phalanx trauma and Euro-Americans had larger frequencies of hip and radial fractures. This variation in fracture patterning could have been the result of intimate partner violence, interpersonal violence, osteoporosis, or accidental injury. Historical research revealed that many of these women were inmates in mental hospitals, further suggesting that the observed trauma may have been the result of interpersonal and structural violence induced by institutionalization.
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