Bias in Healthcare

Cultural Trauma & Epigenetics

Cultural Trauma

"Cultural trauma occurs when members of a collectivity feel they have been subjected to a horrendous event that leaves indelible marks upon their group consciousness, marking their memories forever and changing their future identity in fundamental and irrevocable ways."

-- from the book Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity (Jeffrey C. Alexander, et al., University of California Press. 2004), Chapter 1: Toward a Theory of Cultural Trauma, page 1.

Kimberley, in partnership with Melody Pannell, has created a separate LibGuide for Cultural Trauma; please see it here:

Epigenetics is defined as:

- “the study of how cells control gene activity without changing the DNA sequence.”- MedlinePlus, "What is Epigenetics?"
- “the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence.”- CDC, "What is Epigenetics?"

Youssef NA. Potential Societal and Cultural Implications of Transgenerational Epigenetic Methylation of Trauma and PTSD: Pathology or Resilience?. Yale J Biol Med. 2022;95(1):171-174. Published 2022 Mar 31

Jawaid A, Jehle KL, Mansuy IM. Impact of Parental Exposure on Offspring Health in Humans. Trends Genet2021;37(4):373-388. doi:10.1016/j.tig.2020.10.006

Lehrner A, Yehuda R. Cultural trauma and epigenetic inheritance. Dev Psychopathol2018;30(5):1763-1777. doi:10.1017/S0954579418001153

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