Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mental Health Problems More Common In Kids Who Feel Racial Discrimination

Date:
April 29, 2009
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Perceived racial or ethnic discrimination is not an uncommon experience among fifth-grade students and that it may have a negative effect on their mental health.

A new multicenter study involving UCLA and the RAND Corp. has found that perceived racial or ethnic discrimination isnot an uncommonexperience among fifth-grade students and that it may have a negative effect on their mental health.

Study results show that 15 percent of children surveyed reported experiencing what they perceived as discrimination and that the vast majority of these encounters occurred at school. The study alsofound that children who reported feeling discrimination were more likely to have symptoms of one or more of four different mental health disorders: depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder.

The study will be published in the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health and is currently available online by subscription.

Racial and ethnic discrimination and their effect on mental health have been studied in adults and adolescents, but less is known about the effects of perceived discrimination on children's mental health.

"It was surprising to see positive associations between perceived racial and ethnic discrimination in the children and symptoms of all four examined mental health conditions," said lead author Dr. Tumani R. Coker, clinical instructor of pediatrics at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and an associate natural scientist at RAND. "Parents, clinicians and teachers should be aware that children may experience racialand ethnic discrimination in and out of school and that there may be detrimental effects on their mental health."

Researchers analyzed data from a 2004–06 study of 5,147 fifth-graders and their parents from public schools in Los Angeles, Houston and Birmingham, Ala.

The study found that a greater percentage ofAfrican American children(20 percent), Hispanic children(15 percent) and children identified as "other" (15 percent) reported perceived racial or ethnic discrimination than white children(7 percent).

The strongest and most consistent association of discrimination with mental health symptoms involved symptoms of depression in African American, Hispanic and "other" children reporting discrimination. This association wasnot significant for whites.

Other findings included:

  • Among Hispanic children, those who reportedperceived discrimination were more likely to have symptoms of each of the four mental health conditions.
  • AmongAfrican Americanchildren, those who reportedperceived discrimination were more likely to have symptoms of depression and conduct disorder.
  • Among white children, those who reportedperceived discrimination were more likely to have symptoms ofoppositional defiant disorderand conduct disorder.

"It is concerning that children this young are already reporting that they have faced racial or ethnic discrimination," said senior author Dr. Mark A. Schuster, William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. "We need to examine what they are experiencing and how to address this issue."

The next stages of research will examine if racial and ethnic discrimination precede the symptoms of mental health conditions and also willlook at the mechanisms by which discrimination might lead to poor mental health outcomes and how these mechanisms might differ by race and mental health condition.

"Many parents have discussions about school with their child's health care provider during regular check-ups," Coker said. "Because most children in our study with perceived racialor ethnic discrimination reported that it occurred at school, clinicians could address the topic as part of these school-related discussions."

Additionalsites involved in the study included the University of Alabama at Birmingham and theUniversity of Texas, Houston. The research was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The authors have no financial ties to disclose.

In addition to Coker, study authors included Marc N. Elliott, David E. Kanouse, Jo Anne Grunbaum, David C. Schwebel, Janice Gilliland, Susan R. Tortolero, Melissa F. Peskin and Mark A. Schuster.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Mental Health Problems More Common In Kids Who Feel Racial Discrimination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427163825.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2009, April 29). Mental Health Problems More Common In Kids Who Feel Racial Discrimination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427163825.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Mental Health Problems More Common In Kids Who Feel Racial Discrimination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427163825.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New numbers show a decade's worth of changes in the number of kids with disabilities. They suggest mental disabilities are up; physical ones are down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Weed Wreaks Havoc In New Hampshire

Fake Weed Wreaks Havoc In New Hampshire

Newsy (Aug. 17, 2014) New Hampshire's governor declared a state of emergency after more than 40 overdoses of synthetic marijuana in one week throughout the state. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins