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Racism Impacts Mental Health of Teens

Racism Impacts Mental Health of Teens An international review of published studies has found children and young people experience poor mental health, depression and anxiety following experiences of racism.

University of Melbourne researchers say the study, which found 461 cases of links between racism and child and youth health outcomes, is the first of its kind.

Lead researcher Dr. Naomi Priest said the review demonstrated racism as an important factor influencing the health and wellbeing of children and youth.

“The review showed there are strong and consistent relationships between racial discrimination and a range of detrimental health outcomes such as low self-esteem, reduced resilience, increased behavior problems and lower levels of wellbeing.”

Interpersonal experiences of racism — between people rather than institutional or systemic racism — are the most common types of racism.

Associations between racism and behavior problems, pregnancy and birth outcomes were common. The studies reviewed found children whose mother experienced racism during pregnancy were more likely to have poorer birth outcomes.

Most studies reviewed were conducted in the U.S. with younger people aged 12-18.

The three most common ethnic/racial groups represented in the studies were African-American, Latino, and Asian, including East Asian, South Asian and other Asian.

Priest said the review identified an important issue that needed to be addressed in society, schools and communities to improve child and youth health.

“We know that children who experience poor health and well-being are less likely to engage in education, employment and other activities that support them to lead healthy and productive lives and to participate meaningfully in the community,” she said.

The review was conducted in collaboration with Deakin University and University College London.

The research will published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

Source: University of Melbourne

Racism Impacts Mental Health of Teens

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Racism Impacts Mental Health of Teens. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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