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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Available from: Harold W Neighbors, Aug 20, 2015
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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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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the association between attributing self-reported discrimination to weight and diabetes outcomes (glycemic control, diabetes-related distress, and diabetes self-care). A community dwelling sample of 185 adults (mean age 55.4; 80 % White/Caucasian 65 % female) with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes (HbA1c level ≥7.5 %) provided demographic and several self-report measures (including diabetes-related distress, diabetes self-care activities, discrimination, and attributions of discrimination), and had height, weight, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) assessed by trained research staff as part of a larger research study. Individuals who attributed self-reported discrimination to weight had significantly higher HbA1c levels, higher levels of diabetes-related distress, and worse diabetes-related self-care behaviors (general diet, exercise, and glucose testing). These relationships persisted even when controlling for BMI, overall discrimination, depressive symptoms, and demographic characteristics. Results indicate that the perception of weight stigma among individuals with type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with a range of poor diabetes outcomes. Efforts to reduce exposure to and/or teach adaptive coping for weight stigma may benefit patients with type 2 diabetes.
    Journal of Behavioral Medicine 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10865-015-9655-0 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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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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    ABSTRACT: Discrimination plays an important role in the development of ethnic minority adolescents. However, previous studies have often adopted a unidirectional model examining the influence of discrimination on adolescent development, thus leaving the potential reciprocal relationship between them understudied. Moreover, there is a dearth of studies on Chinese Americans in the discrimination literature. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the reciprocal relationships between discrimination and two measures of adolescent outcomes (i.e., ethnic affect and depressive symptoms) from early adolescence to emerging adulthood in Chinese Americans. Participants were 444 adolescents (54 % female), followed at four-year intervals, beginning at 7th or 8th grade (M age.wave1 = 13.03) in 2002, for a total of three waves. An examination of cross-lagged autoregressive models revealed two major findings. First, in contrast to the rejection–identification model, perceived discrimination at early adolescence negatively related to ethnic affect at middle adolescence. Conversely, ethnic affect at early adolescence also negatively related to discrimination at middle adolescence. These results held the same direction but became insignificant from middle adolescence to emerging adulthood. Second, perceived discrimination positively related to depressive symptoms across the studied developmental periods, and depressive symptoms positively related to perceived discrimination from middle adolescence to emerging adulthood. The strength of these longitudinal relationships did not change significantly across developmental periods or gender. These findings highlight the bidirectional relationship between perceived discrimination and adolescent outcomes; they also demonstrate the value of studying the discrimination experiences of Chinese Americans.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 05/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10964-015-0300-6 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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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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    ABSTRACT: We examined how childhood and adolescent risk and protective factors and perceptions of racial microaggression and ethnic identity during young adulthood contributed to academic self-efficacy, substance abuse, and criminal intentions of 409 undergraduate students enrolled in a public urban university. Participants (mean age -24) completed a web-based survey subsequent to a stratified, random sampling procedure. Findings from structural equation models revealed that risk factors reflecting problem behavior during childhood were associated with higher levels of substance use and criminal intentions during adulthood. The early protective factor of school engagement was positively related to academic self-efficacy and negatively related to criminal intentions in young adults. Racial microaggression was inversely related, while ethnic identity was positively associated, with academic self-efficacy among young adults after controlling for the influence of child and adolescent risk and protective factors. Implications for advancing interventions that address the influence of child and adolescent risk and protective factors, racial microaggression, and ethnic identity on academic and behavioral outcomes for young adults are noted.
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