The Association between Discrimination and the Health of Sikh Asian Indians
Published Date:Apr 2016
Source:Health Psychol. 35(4):351-355.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4810452
Funding:1U48DP001904-01/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
F31 NR013830/NR/NINR NIH HHS/United States
P60MD000538/MD/NIMHD NIH HHS/United States
T32 HL069771/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
T32HL069771/HL/NHLBI NIH HHS/United States
UL1 TR000038/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
To investigate the relationships between self-reported discrimination (SRD) and mental and physical health (self-reported physical health conditions and direct, physiologic measures (BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, and blood pressure) among Sikh Asian Indians (AI), a group that may be particularly discriminated against due to physical manifestations of their faith, including a tendency to wear turbans or ethnic clothing.
Sikh AIs (N = 196) were recruited from Sikh gurdwaras in Queens, New York. Data were collected on SRD, social support and self-reported health, along with multiple direct physiological measures for cardiovascular health.
Participants who wore turbans/scarves reported higher levels of discrimination than those who did not wear turbans/scarves. As hypothesized, multiple regression analysis supported that discrimination is significantly associated with poorer self-reported mental (B = −.53, p < .001) and physical health (B = −.16, p = .04) while controlling for socioeconomic, acculturation, and social support factors. The study did not support an association between SRD and physiologic measures (elevated BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, and blood pressure).
Consistent with previous discrimination and health reports, this study demonstrated an inverse relationship between discrimination and health among Sikh AIs, an understudied yet high risk minority population. Community-based efforts are also needed to reduce the occurrence or buffer the effects of discrimination experienced by Sikh AIs.
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