Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discrimination associated with mental health woes in black teens: Racism a common 'toxic stressor'

Date:
May 3, 2014
Source:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
The vast majority of African-American and Afro-Caribbean youth face racial discrimination, and these experiences are associated with an increased risk of mental health problems.

The vast majority of African-American and Afro-Caribbean youth face racial discrimination, and these experiences are associated with an increased risk of mental health problems, according to a study to be presented Saturday, May 3, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

"Sixty years after Brown vs. Board of Education, racism remains a toxic stressor commonly experienced by youth of color," said lead author Lee M. Pachter, D.O., FAAP. "The fact that these experiences are encountered during adolescence -- a critically sensitive period for identity development -- is of great concern, as is our finding of slightly higher rates of depression, anxiety and social phobias in those youth who have more experiences with discrimination."

The researchers analyzed data from the National Survey of American Life, which examines racial, ethnic and cultural influences on the mental health of African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans (blacks living in the United States who are of Caribbean descent). Interviews were conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,170 adolescents (1,017 African-Americans and 137 Afro-Caribbeans) ages 13-17 years.

"Our study looked at the relationships between perceived racial discrimination (racism) and various mental health issues. We wanted to see if African-American and Afro-Caribbean teenagers who experienced racial discrimination have higher rates of depression, anxiety or social phobia," said Dr. Pachter, professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine and chief of general pediatrics at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.

This is one of the few studies that look at experiences of black youth of Caribbean ancestry and ethnicity separate from African-American youth, Dr. Pachter noted. Because of differences in culture, pre- and post-immigration experiences, and other factors, it is important to differentiate groups that generally are lumped together as 'black' in the same way that Latinos are separated into subgroups such as Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban, etc.

Survey results showed that 85 percent of the adolescents experienced racial discrimination. During their lifetime, 6 percent experienced major depression, 17 percent suffered from anxiety and 13 percent had social phobia. In the year before they were surveyed, 4 percent of teens had major depression, and 14 percent experienced anxiety.

More experiences with discrimination was associated with a higher likelihood of major depression, anxiety disorder and social phobia during one's lifetime, as well as major depression and anxiety in the 12 months before the survey was conducted. These associations were present for both African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans, for males and females, and for younger and older teens.

Results also showed that increasing levels of racial discrimination had a greater effect on Afro-Caribbean youth, who experienced higher rates of anxiety than African-American teens.

"The challenge now is to identify interventions at the individual, family and community levels to lessen the mental health effects of racial discrimination while we as a society grapple with ways to eliminate it as a toxic stressor," Dr. Pachter concluded.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Pediatrics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Pediatrics. "Discrimination associated with mental health woes in black teens: Racism a common 'toxic stressor'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140503082722.htm>.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2014, May 3). Discrimination associated with mental health woes in black teens: Racism a common 'toxic stressor'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140503082722.htm
American Academy of Pediatrics. "Discrimination associated with mental health woes in black teens: Racism a common 'toxic stressor'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140503082722.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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