How Everyday Discrimination Effects Physical Health

How Everyday Discrimination Effects Physical Health

How Everyday Discrimination Effects Physical Health

We already know that thoughts and emotions have the power to effect our physical health. But can experiencing discrimination effect physical health?

This is why the biopsychosocial model is so popular, stating that biological, psychological and social factors are all significant to our functioning and particularly overall health and well-being.

Discrimination is obviously detrimental to society and has been linked to adverse health outcomes but new research aimed to examine this further:

We hypothesize that greater frequency of everyday discrimination is associated with greater stress, which in turn is associated with greater depressive symptoms, and which in turn are associated with worse physical health. 

The researchers were particularly concerned with a model that would link everyday discrimination with poorer health outcomes including general, emergency and chronic health.

The researchers surveyed 1299 individuals in a low resource urban area and asked questions about health, discrimination, stress and depression.

Once the researchers had collated the information that they had gathered they found:

results suggest that more frequent experiences of everyday discrimination are associated with greater stress, which in turn is associated with greater depressive symptoms, which are associated with poor health outcomes

Simply put – suffering discrimination leads to poorer health outcomes.

Furthermore this effect was found to be consistent for all of the health outcomes found – general, emergency and chronic health were all found to worsen in connection with experience of discrimination.

Source: Everyday discrimination and physical health: Exploring mental health processes