Potentially Traumatic Events of Women of Color in an Urban Adult Basic Education Program

Maria C. Crouch, Brittany D. Miller-Roenigk, Shannon W. Schrader, Frances Griffith, Sydney Simmons, Derrick M. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adult Basic Education (ABE) in the United States is an important tool for underrepresented and underserved communities to achieve the goal of high school graduation following noncompletion of K-12 education. Largely in urban settings, ABE centers serve millions of students annually, especially historically and contemporarily marginalized groups. ABE provides critical resources and skills to meet the educational needs of diverse peoples seeking to advance their station in life. ABE centers may serve students with potentially traumatic events (PTE), diagnosable trauma, and related poorer outcomes. Alarmingly, a paucity of research exists that examines the presence of PTEs for ABE students, particularly people and womgen of color. In the present research, the Patient Health Questionnaire 9-item and Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item measures were used to weigh depression and anxiety scores across the Life Events Checklist for the DSM-5 (LEC-5) trauma types in a sample (N = 170) of predominantly women of color. We examined three respondent groups based on proximity and frequency of PTEs: (1) denied; (2) witnessed/learned about; and (3) experienced. Results indicate that those experiencing higher levels of PTEs (namely, sexual assault, unwanted/uncomfortable sexual experience, and sudden accidental death) also experienced higher ratings of depression and anxiety. More research is indicated, as women of color within ABE settings could benefit from tailored resources for prevention, intervention, and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-450
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis.


  • Anxiety
  • depression
  • school
  • trauma exposure
  • women/girls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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