Columbia University Study Finds Blacks With High Levels of Education and Income Are More Likely to Report Being Victims of Racial Discrimination

A new study led by researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University finds that African Americans with large incomes and high levels of education are more likely than other blacks to have reported experiencing racial discrimination. Luisa N. Borrell, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia, concludes that “African Americans with a higher socioeconomic position may report more discrimination because they are more exposed to situations in which they are discriminated, or they may be more aware of subtle forms of discrimination.”

The study also found that African Americans who reported being the victims of racial discrimination were more likely to currently use tobacco and alcohol. Also, the victims of racial discrimination were more likely than other African Americans to have ever used marijuana or cocaine. The researchers concluded, “Substance use may be an unhealthy coping response to perceived unfair treatment.”

Professor Borrell holds a professional degree in dentistry and a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University. She also earned a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.