Aboriginal peoples are at greater risk of experiencing early life adversity relative to non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and as adults frequently experience high levels of discrimination that act as a further stressor. Although these factors appear to contribute to high rates of depressive disorders and suicidality in Aboriginal peoples, the psychosocial factors that contribute to the relationship between childhood adversity and the development of depressive symptoms have hardly been assessed in this group. The present investigation explored potential mediators to help explain the relation between childhood trauma and depressive symptoms among a sample of First Nations adults from across Canada. These mediated relationships were further examined in the context of unsupportive social interactions from ingroup and outgroup members. In Study 1, (N = 225), the relationship between childhood trauma and depression scores was mediated by perceived discrimination, and this was particularly notable in the presence of unsupportive relations with outgroup members. In Study 2, (N = 134) the relationship between childhood trauma and depressive symptoms was mediated by emotion-focused coping that was specific to coping with experiences of ethnic discrimination, and this mediated effect was moderated by both outgroup and ingroup unsupportive social interactions. Thus, it seems that experiences of discrimination and unsupport might contribute to depressive symptoms among First Nations adults who had experienced early life adverse events.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Aboriginal, Childhood trauma, Coping, Depressive symptoms, Discrimination, Unsupport
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037541
Journal Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Citation
McQuaid, R.J. (Robyn Jane), Bombay, A. (Amy), McInnis, O.A. (Opal Arilla), Matheson, K, & Anisman, H. (2015). Childhood adversity, perceived discrimination, and coping strategies in relation to depressive symptoms among first nations adults in Canada: The moderating role of unsupportive social interactions from ingroup and outgroup members. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 21(3), 326–336. doi:10.1037/a0037541