Racial Prejudice Worsens Health Outcomes, Study Claims

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Psychology News

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, showed how racial prejudice worsens health outcomes in communities. The study is published in the journal Health Psychology.

The Study

To understand the effects of racism on health across the US, the research team conducted a systematic review of fourteen research papers. These papers included data gathered from large-scale surveys, internet searches, and social media.

The Findings

The results revealed that area-level racial prejudice is a social determinant of population health. All the studies found a strong association between racism and mental health, especially amongst residents of color.

A racist climate negatively impacts health outcomes, bringing about high mortality rates, adverse birth outcomes for mothers and infants, cardiovascular outcomes, mental health disorders, and so forth.

The researchers opine that racism erodes social capital, like trust, reciprocity, empathy, etc. It diminishes the social and political support necessary to buffer prejudiced interactions and stressful life events, as well as encourage welfare policies and programs. This diminishes the health outcomes and the quality of life of racially marginalized people

Towards Interventions

In the words of one of the lead researchers, Eli Michaels, “Racism is gaining recognition as a fundamental driver of health inequities.” However, further research is needed to understand the multi-dimensional causes and effects of racism to formulate interventions that address collective racial prejudice.

To Know More You May Refer To

Michaels EK, Board C, Mujahid MS, Riddell CA, Chae DH, Johnson RC, Allen AM. Area-level racial prejudice and health: A systematic review. Health Psychol. 2022 Mar;41(3):211-224. doi: 10.1037/hea0001141. Epub 2022 Mar 7. PMID: 35254858; PMCID: PMC8930473.

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