The Influence of Social Exclusion and Integration on Trauma Reactions in Older Adults

By: Mark Olson  

The relationship between social exclusion and post-traumatic stress reactions is a particularly timely issue, warranting greater attention in the trauma literature. Research with military veterans and refugee groups indicates that the social marginalization resulting from racial and ethnic discrimination can exacerbate post-traumatic stress symptoms. This suggests an increased potential for emergent or recurrent trauma reactions in these populations, as previous research has documented older adults’ unique risk for social exclusion as a consequence of ageism. The issue takes on greater relevance due to the unprecedented increase in the older adult population worldwide. Healthcare and social service providers can play a critical role in mitigating the psychosocial factors associated with ageism that may exacerbate trauma reactions.

Exclusion, Ageism, Trauma, Veterans, Refugees
Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Mark Olson

Associate Professor, Social Work, Illinois State University, United States
Illinois, United States

Mark D. Olson, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Illinois State University. Dr. Olson's research interests include social work education and predictors of student sef-efficacy, particularly related to complex issues and systems such as the military, multigenerational family systems, and the LGBTQ population. His previous experience includes professional leadership positions in social service and healthcare organizations.