The biological impacts of residential schooling on the development of intergenerational trauma among Indigenous people

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Chief Moon-Riley, Kathrina
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Health Sciences
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences
Objective: Examine associations between residential school experiences, adverse childhood experiences, and allostatic load scores among Indigenous students (n = 90) at the University of Lethbridge. Methods: Data for this cross-sectional study were collected through in-person surveys and physical measurements. Results: Participants who had a mother attend residential school evidenced higher allostatic load scores. Having a mother attend residential school was significantly associated with higher adverse childhood experiences. There was no association between feeling the way they were parented was influenced by residential school and higher allostatic load scores. There were also no association between adverse childhood experiences and allostatic load scores. Conclusion: Participants who had a mother attend residential school were significantly more likely to have an allostatic load score in the mid-range rather than a low-range, compared to individuals who did not have a mother attend. Results provide biological evidence for the multigenerational transmission of trauma.
allostatic load , biological dysregulation , Indigenous health , Indigenous population , intergenerational trauma