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      Discrimination and the Health of African Americans: The Potential Importance of Intersectionalities

      1 , 1
      Current Directions in Psychological Science
      SAGE Publications

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          Abstract

          Research examining associations between self-reported experiences of discrimination overall (e.g. potentially due to race, gender, socioeconomic status, age, etc…) and health -particularly among African-Americans - has grown rapidly over the past two decades. Yet recent findings suggest that self-reported experiences of racism alone may be less impactful for the health of African-Americans than previously hypothesized. Thus, an approach that captures a broader range of complexities in the study of discrimination and health among African-Americans may be warranted. This article presents an argument for the importance of examining intersectionalities in studies of discrimination and physical health in African-Americans, and provides an overview of research in this area.

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          Most cited references35

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          Is Open Access

          Racism as a Determinant of Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

          Despite a growing body of epidemiological evidence in recent years documenting the health impacts of racism, the cumulative evidence base has yet to be synthesized in a comprehensive meta-analysis focused specifically on racism as a determinant of health. This meta-analysis reviewed the literature focusing on the relationship between reported racism and mental and physical health outcomes. Data from 293 studies reported in 333 articles published between 1983 and 2013, and conducted predominately in the U.S., were analysed using random effects models and mean weighted effect sizes. Racism was associated with poorer mental health (negative mental health: r = -.23, 95% CI [-.24,-.21], k = 227; positive mental health: r = -.13, 95% CI [-.16,-.10], k = 113), including depression, anxiety, psychological stress and various other outcomes. Racism was also associated with poorer general health (r = -.13 (95% CI [-.18,-.09], k = 30), and poorer physical health (r = -.09, 95% CI [-.12,-.06], k = 50). Moderation effects were found for some outcomes with regard to study and exposure characteristics. Effect sizes of racism on mental health were stronger in cross-sectional compared with longitudinal data and in non-representative samples compared with representative samples. Age, sex, birthplace and education level did not moderate the effects of racism on health. Ethnicity significantly moderated the effect of racism on negative mental health and physical health: the association between racism and negative mental health was significantly stronger for Asian American and Latino(a) American participants compared with African American participants, and the association between racism and physical health was significantly stronger for Latino(a) American participants compared with African American participants. Protocol PROSPERO registration number: CRD42013005464.
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            Intersectional Invisibility: The Distinctive Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiple Subordinate-Group Identities

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              The essence of innocence: Consequences of dehumanizing Black children.

              The social category "children" defines a group of individuals who are perceived to be distinct, with essential characteristics including innocence and the need for protection (Haslam, Rothschild, & Ernst, 2000). The present research examined whether Black boys are given the protections of childhood equally to their peers. We tested 3 hypotheses: (a) that Black boys are seen as less "childlike" than their White peers, (b) that the characteristics associated with childhood will be applied less when thinking specifically about Black boys relative to White boys, and (c) that these trends would be exacerbated in contexts where Black males are dehumanized by associating them (implicitly) with apes (Goff, Eberhardt, Williams, & Jackson, 2008). We expected, derivative of these 3 principal hypotheses, that individuals would perceive Black boys as being more responsible for their actions and as being more appropriate targets for police violence. We find support for these hypotheses across 4 studies using laboratory, field, and translational (mixed laboratory/field) methods. We find converging evidence that Black boys are seen as older and less innocent and that they prompt a less essential conception of childhood than do their White same-age peers. Further, our findings demonstrate that the Black/ape association predicted actual racial disparities in police violence toward children. These data represent the first attitude/behavior matching of its kind in a policing context. Taken together, this research suggests that dehumanization is a uniquely dangerous intergroup attitude, that intergroup perception of children is underexplored, and that both topics should be research priorities.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Current Directions in Psychological Science
                Curr Dir Psychol Sci
                SAGE Publications
                0963-7214
                1467-8721
                December 07 2017
                June 2018
                May 2018
                June 2018
                : 27
                : 3
                : 176-182
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
                Article
                10.1177/0963721418770442
                6330707
                30655654
                cc6b6b07-fcce-4181-adcb-176cc18df0df
                © 2018

                http://journals.sagepub.com/page/policies/text-and-data-mining-license


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