Article

Racial/Ethnic Discrimination and Health: Findings From Community Studies

Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48106, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.23). 03/2003; 93(2):200-8. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.93.2.200
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors review the available empirical evidence from population-based studies of the association between perceptions of racial/ethnic discrimination and health. This research indicates that discrimination is associated with multiple indicators of poorer physical and, especially, mental health status. However, the extant research does not adequately address whether and how exposure to discrimination leads to increased risk of disease. Gaps in the literature include limitations linked to measurement of discrimination, research designs, and inattention to the way in which the association between discrimination and health unfolds over the life course. Research on stress points to important directions for the future assessment of discrimination and the testing of the underlying processes and mechanisms by which discrimination can lead to changes in health.

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    • "Such experiences, in turn, have important implications for disease progression, health behavior, and well-being of overweight/obese individuals, including those with type 2 diabetes. The general link between discrimination and poor health outcomes is well established (e.g., Williams et al., 2003). "
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    • "On the other hand, researchers have postulated that ethnic identity may be a personal attribute that influences perceived discrimination (Castillo et al. 2006; Sellers and Shelton 2003). In the lives of ethnic minorities, including Asian Americans, discrimination experiences, both blatant and subtle (e.g., racial microaggressions), are prevalent (Ong et al. 2013; Sue et al. 2009; Williams et al. 2003). Individuals who feel less positive about their ethnic affiliation may be more aware of the negative stereotypes and prejudice toward their ethnic group (Major et al. 2002). "
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    • "In fact, it has long been understood that racial discrimination is a risk factor for a number of adverse outcomes for people of all ages, ethnicities , and races (Feagin, 1991; Krieger & Sidney, 1996; Paradies, 2006; Smith, 1985; Sue, 2010; Williams, Neighbors, & Jackson, 2003). For example , negative impacts of racial discrimination on physical health (Harrell, Hall, & Taliaferroc, 2003; Krieger & Sidney, 1996; Smith, 1985; Williams et al., 2003), mental health, and self-esteem are welldocumented (Joiner, Perez, Wagner, Berenson, & Marquina, 2001; Roberts, Roberts, & Chen, 1997). These results tend to be limited by macro-level focus on identifying the contexts in which discrimination occurs; less emphasis has been placed on understanding the actual actions and interpersonal dynamics involved in discrimination. "
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