Researchers have determined that African Americans and Caribbean blacks who experience discrimination of multiple types are at substantially greater risk for a variety of mental disorders including anxiety, depression and substance abuse.
The research — co-authored by professor Christopher Salas-Wright at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work and published in the August 2014 edition of Addictive Behaviors — suggests that experiences of discrimination in the form of disrespect and condescension do not alone appear to increase risk for most mental disorders. However, hostile and character-based discrimination in combination with disrespect and condescension does seem to place African American and Caribbean black adults at considerable risk for mental health problems.
“When it comes to mental health, our results suggest that the type and frequency of discrimination matters,” Salas-Wright said. “It seems that it is the ongoing experience of multiple types of discrimination, including disrespect, condescension, hostile and character-based discrimination, which negatively impacts mental health.”
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