Rice University Study Finds That Racial Discrimination Can Be Harmful to Your Health

Jenifer Bratter

A study by sociologists at Rice University in Houston provides evidence that racial discrimination is harmful to the health of African Americans. Authors Jenifer Bratter and Bridget Gorman used data on socioeconomic status, race, and perceived discriminatory behavior from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The results showed that 18 percent of African Americans and 4 percent of White Americans reported higher levels of emotional or health-related problems due to perceived race-based discrimination.

Dr. Bratter commented on the results by stating, “Discriminatory behavior very well may be a ‘missing link’ in the analysis of racial and ethnic health disparities. It’s important to acknowledge and study its impact on long-term health.”

The study was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.


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