Abstract for: The Effects of Intergenerational Trauma on Mental Health

This work in progress submission combines biological, historical, and sociological components with epidemiological factors to begin to create a system dynamics simulation model that displays the interaction between intergenerational trauma and prevalence of mental health disorders. The aim of this study is to investigate how environmental exposures of violence contribute to generational cycles of trauma from an endogenous perspective. For this paper, violence is defined as a force due to which “human beings are being influenced so that their actual somatic and mental realizations are below their potential realizations (Galtung 1969, p. 168).” This includes more commonly identified examples of violence, like war and abuse, as well as more discrete types, such as structural racism. Understanding this issue from an endogenous perspective can help decrease stigma surrounding mental illness, as well as identify high leverage points for developing better mental health resources and therapeutic strategies focused in epigenetics.