Kids stress over public acts of discrimination

In a sign of the times, new USC research shows that some kids stressed out over recent public acts of discrimination show increased behavioral problems.

The study focused on Los Angeles-area teens from communities of color or families with limited education. Many of the youths reported concern that discrimination is a growing societal problem. The more worried the teens were, the worse their substance use, depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms became, the study shows.

The findings are a snapshot into the adolescent mind during a time of rising U.S. political tensions and concern about increasing discrimination in society. It also coincides with the beginning of new social policies proposed by the Trump administration, which the scientists note might affect mental health for the youngsters.

Full story at Science Daily

Discrimination harms your health, and your partner’s, study shows

Discrimination not only harms the health and well-being of the victim, but the victim’s romantic partner as well, indicates new research led by a Michigan State University scholar.

The work, which analyzed a nationally representative sample of nearly 2,000 couples, is the first study to consider how the discrimination experiences of both people in a relationship are associated with their health. The findings are published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

“We found that when an individual experiences discrimination, they report worse health and depression. However, that’s not the full story — this stress spills over and affects the health of their partner as well,” said William Chopik, an assistant professor of psychology who conducted the study with current and former MSU students.

Full story at Science Daily

Everyday discrimination impacts mental health

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.”

Full story of discrimination and mental health at Science Daily