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Med J Aust. 2011 May 16;194(10):546-50.

Racism as a determinant of social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal Australian youth.

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  • 1McCaughey Centre and Onemda Koori Health Unit, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC. npriestATunimelb.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the associations between self-reported racism and health and wellbeing outcomes for young Aboriginal Australian people.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

A cross-sectional study of 345 Aboriginal Australians aged 16-20 years who, as participants in the prospective Aboriginal Birth Cohort Study, were recruited at birth between 1987 and 1990 and followed up between 2006 and 2008.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Self-reported social and emotional wellbeing using a questionnaire validated as culturally appropriate for the study's participants; recorded body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio.

RESULTS:

Self-reported racism was reported by 32% of study participants. Racism was significantly associated with anxiety (odds ratio [OR], 2.18 [95% CI, 1.37-3.46]); depression (OR, 2.16 [95% CI, 1.33-3.53]); suicide risk (OR, 2.32 [95% CI, 1.25-4.00]); and poor overall mental health (OR, 3.35 [95% CI, 2.04-5.51]). No significant associations were found between self-reported racism and resilience or any anthropometric measures.

CONCLUSIONS:

Self-reported racism was associated with poor social and emotional wellbeing outcomes, including anxiety, depression, suicide risk and poor overall mental health.

Comment in

PMID:
21644910
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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