New study on racial harassment and mental health

Posted on Wed 12 Apr 2017

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 Those who reported experiencing ethnic and racial harassment in the past year, were more likely to report worse mental health, compared to those who did not.
 Those who feared or anticipated ethnic and racial harassment but did not experience it also reported worse mental health than those who neither experienced nor anticipated it.
 A large number of individual and community resilience factors were investigated and a few – number of friends and personality traits openness to experience and conscientiousness –were found to be protective. By protective factors we mean factors which diminish the negative association between experiencing ethnic and racial harassment and mental health. Living in areas with higher proportion of co-ethnics and higher frequency of attendance of religious services were surprisingly not protective.
While this study establishes associations, it does not established causality. The next step in this project is to estimate these causal links.

Researchers at the University of Essex have published research looking at the links between mental health and racial harassment. The key findings were:

  • Those who reported experiencing ethnic and racial harassment in the past year, were more likely to report worse mental health, compared to those who did not.
  • Those who feared or anticipated ethnic and racial harassment but did not experience it also reported worse mental health than those who neither experienced nor anticipated it.
  • A large number of individual and community resilience factors were investigated and a few – number of friends and personality traits openness to experience and conscientiousness –were found to be protective. By protective factors we mean factors which diminish the negative association between experiencing ethnic and racial harassment and mental health. Living in areas with higher proportion of co-ethnics and higher frequency of attendance of religious services were surprisingly not protective.

 

While this study establishes associations, it does not established causality. The next step in this project is to estimate these causal links. The full paper is available here: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2016-14