Association Between Perceived Discrimination and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Problem Behaviors Among Pre-Adolescent Youth
Published Date:Apr 18 2013
Source:Am J Public Health. 103(6):1074-1081.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC3651741
Funding:DP000056-01/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
U48 DP000056/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
U48DP000046/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
U48DP000056/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
U48DP000057/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
We examined the contribution of perceived racial/ethnic discrimination to disparities in problem behaviors among pre-adolescent Black, Latino, and White youth.
We used cross-sectional data from Healthy Passages, a three-community study of 5,119 fifth-graders and their parents. Multivariate regressions were used to examine the relationships of perceived racial/ethnic discrimination and race/ethnicity to problem behaviors (physical and non-physical aggression, retaliatory behaviors, and delinquency). We used values from these regressions to calculate the percentage of disparities in problem behaviors associated with the discrimination effect.
In multivariate models, perceived discrimination was associated with greater problem behaviors among Black and Latino youth. Compared to Whites, Blacks were significantly more likely to report problem behaviors, whereas Latinos were significantly less likely (a “reverse disparity”). When Blacks’ and Latinos’ discrimination experiences were set to zero, the adjusted disparity between Blacks and Whites was reduced by an estimated one-third to two-thirds; the reverse adjusted disparity favoring Latinos widened by about one-fifth to one-half.
Results suggest that the elimination of discrimination could lead to considerable reductions in mental health issues, including problem behaviors, among Black and Latino youth.
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