Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Christopher Kearney

Second Committee Member

Gloria Wong-Padoongpatt

Third Committee Member

Paul Nelson

Fourth Committee Member

Melva Thompson-Robinson

Number of Pages



Racial/ethnic marginalized youth are more likely to receive a misdiagnosis of a mental health disorder than their White peers. Misdiagnosis contributes to existing disparities for racial/ethnic marginalized groups by leading to longer durations of untreated and worsening mental health symptoms. For maltreated youth, receiving a misdiagnosis can lead to a failure to connect with appropriate mental health services, medication regimens, therapeutic foster homes, and academic and developmental resources. To date, very few empirical studies have identified disparities in mental health diagnosis among racial/ethnic marginalized maltreated youth. The present study examined two key research questions: (1) what racial/ethnic disparities in diagnoses might exist among maltreated youth?; and (2) do PTSD symptom cluster subscales relate to any identified disparities in diagnoses among racially/ethnically diverse maltreated youth? A chi-square test identified racial/ethnic disparities among marginalized youth for diagnoses of Internalizing Disorders (including Bipolar Disorder; χ2 (1, N = 68) = 6.964, p =.008 and Psychotic Disorders χ2 (1, N = 145) = 4.078, p =.043). An exploratory chi-square test identified disparities between Multiracial youth and Hispanic youth for Externalizing Disorders χ2 (1, N = 29) = 6.212, p =.013 and ADHD χ2 (1, N = 28) = 7.337, p =.007. Symptoms of PTSD only explained disparities in Generalized Anxiety Disorder among White non-Hispanic Youth and non-White Hispanic/Latino youth F (1, 71) = 6.680, p =.012. The findings offer important implications for understanding the relationship between maltreatment, racial/ethnic disparities, and PTSD to better inform identification and treatment of maltreated youth.


Child Maltreatment; Mental Health Disparities; PTSD; Racial/Ethnic Disparities; Youth


Clinical Psychology

File Format


File Size

1118 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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