Racial Discrimination-Mental Health

Racial Discrimination-Mental Health - Cultural Diversity...

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The Impact of Perceived Racial Discrimination on the Mental Health of Asian American and Latino College Students Wei-Chin Hwang Claremont McKenna College Sharon Goto Pomona College The authors examined the impact of perceived racial discrimination on various mental health outcomes for Asian American and Latino college students within an emic and etic framework. Results indicate that Asian American and Latino college students experienced similar exposure and reactions to various kinds of discrimination. However, Latino students were more likely than Asian American students to have been accused of doing something wrong, such as cheating and breaking the law, and more likely to appraise these experiences as stressful. Asian Americans evidenced higher risk for trait anxiety. Regardless of ethnicity, perceived racial discrimination was associated with several negative mental health outcomes, including higher psychological distress, suicidal ideation, state anxiety, trait anxiety, and depression. Findings highlight the need to address discrimination across multiple social and professional settings and to understand the broad array of mental health outcomes. Keywords: discrimination, racism, Asian American, Latino, depression Throughout history, ethnic and racial minorities have been the victims of institutional and interpersonal discrimination (Harrell, 2000; Jones, 1997). Although some may argue that the United States has become a more racially conscious society, it is fallacious to believe that discrimination no longer exists (Smedley & Smed- ley, 2005). Research has documented the widespread prevalence of racial discrimination (unfair treatment due to race) and the nega- tive health consequences it has for African Americans (e.g., Jones, 1997; Klonoff, Landrine, & Ullman, 1999; Utsey, 1998). How- ever, there continues to be comparatively little research that ex- amines the impact of racial discrimination on other ethnic minority groups. The goals of this study were to (a) examine the impact of perceived racial discrimination on various mental health outcomes for Asian Americans and Latinos, and (b) expand the range of our understanding of racial discrimination and its mental health asso- ciations (psychological distress, suicidal ideation, state and trait anxiety, and clinical depression). There are compelling reasons to study Asian Americans and Latinos with respect to racial discrimination and to study the groups together. Sociopolitical concerns such as the recent outcries against illegal Latino immigration and economic competition be- tween the United States and Asian countries are likely to increase the animosity toward these two fastest growing groups in the United States (Larsen, 2004). Asian Americans and Latinos both evidence within group heterogeneity because of geographic, his- torical, and demographic differences. Yet, both groups share com- monalities that make comparative study of their discrimination experiences intriguing. Both groups are visible minorities; have large numbers of immigrants that may be targets of discrimination
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Racial Discrimination-Mental Health - Cultural Diversity...

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