Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Perceived racial discrimination and mental health in low-income, urban-dwelling whites

TitlePerceived racial discrimination and mental health in low-income, urban-dwelling whites
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBower, KM, Thorpe, R. J., J, Laveist, TA
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services : Planning, Administration, Evaluation
ISBN Number0020-7314 (Print)0020-7314 (Linking)
Accession Number23821905
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Anxiety/epidemiology, Baltimore/epidemiology, Cross-Sectional Studies, Depression/epidemiology, European Continental Ancestry Group/ psychology, Humans, Mental Health/ ethnology, Middle Aged, Perception, Poverty/ psychology, Prejudice/ psychology, Prevalence, Socioeconomic Factors, Urban Population/ statistics & numerical data, Young Adult

This study examined the relationship between perceived racial discrimination and the presence of anxiety and depression in a sample of low-income, urban-dwelling whites. Data were analyzed from a cross-sectional survey of low-income whites living in an inner-city neighborhood in the mid-Atlantic United States. Perceived racial discrimination was reported by 39 percent of participants. Rates of depression in the population exceed prevalence rates in the general U.S. population. Those who perceived racial discrimination and were bothered by it experienced significantly greater odds of being depressed (OR = 2.78, 95% CI 1.60-4.82) and had higher anxiety scores (b = 2.02, SE 0.55, p = 0.000) than those who did not perceive racial discrimination. Low-income, urban white populations have been largely ignored in public health research. This study demonstrates that perceived racial discrimination is common in poor urban whites. Further, exposure to discrimination that is perceived as a stressor is associated with mental illness.