Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discrimination may harm your health

Date:
January 16, 2012
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Racial discrimination may be harmful to your health, according to new research. In the study, the authors examined data containing measures of social class, race and perceived discriminatory behavior and found that approximately 18 percent of blacks and 4 percent of whites reported higher levels of emotional upset and/or physical symptoms due to race-based treatment.

Racial discrimination may be harmful to your health, according to new research from Rice University sociologists Jenifer Bratter and Bridget Gorman.

In the study, "Is Discrimination an Equal Opportunity Risk? Racial Experiences, Socio-economic Status and Health Status Among Black and White Adults," the authors examined data containing measures of social class, race and perceived discriminatory behavior and found that approximately 18 percent of blacks and 4 percent of whites reported higher levels of emotional upset and/or physical symptoms due to race-based treatment.

"Discriminatory behavior very well may be a 'missing link' in the analysis of racial and ethnic health disparities," Bratter said. "It's important to acknowledge and study its impact on long-term health.

Unlike most of the research on this topic, Bratter and Gorman's study examines the health risks of discrimination among both whites and blacks, as opposed to just blacks. Their analysis was based on data from the 2004 wave of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an ongoing collaborative project between U.S. states and territories and the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This racially comparative focus is important because we examine whether discrimination is equally harmful to the health status of black and white adults -- or whether experiencing discrimination is disproportionately harmful to either black or white adults," Gorman said. "For example, since, on average, black adults typically experience more health risks in their social and personal environment than white adults (including higher poverty and lower-quality medical insurance), they may be especially vulnerable to negative health effects as a result of racial discrimination."

A greater number of blacks report poor health due to discrimination, and the study did find that black-white disparities in health are shaped in part by the differential exposure of blacks to the harmful effects of discrimination. However, Bratter and Gorman also show that while perceiving discrimination exacerbates some of the economic-based health risks more typically experienced by black adults, patterns differ for white adults. Regardless of social-class position, white adults who perceive unfair treatment relative to other racial groups in either workplace or health care settings report poorer health.

"A relatively small proportion of white adults report unfair treatment that is race-based, but those who do say their health status is harmed more than blacks who report the same experiences," Gorman said.

Both Bratter and Gorman hope that their research will raise awareness about the impact racial discrimination has on health and wellness.

"Ultimately we hope that practitioners and researchers in the medical field recognize the dual contribution of social class and interpersonal treatment in shaping health outcomes among persons of all racial populations," Bratter said.

This study appeared in the September 2011 edition of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior and was funded by Rice University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. L. Bratter, B. K. Gorman. Is Discrimination an Equal Opportunity Risk? Racial Experiences, Socioeconomic Status, and Health Status among Black and White Adults. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 2011; 52 (3): 365 DOI: 10.1177/0022146511405336

Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Discrimination may harm your health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120112134332.htm>.
Rice University. (2012, January 16). Discrimination may harm your health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120112134332.htm
Rice University. "Discrimination may harm your health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120112134332.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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