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J Occup Health Psychol. 2007 Apr;12(2):144-60.

Racial and ethnic harassment and discrimination: in the eye of the beholder?

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Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4235, USA.


The nature, rate, and higher-order relationships among facets of racial/ethnic harassment (REH) and discrimination (RED) were examined across five racial/ethnic groups in a sample of 5,000 US military personnel. Using a hierarchical, multigroup confirmatory factor analysis approach, results suggest that the nature of REH and RED do not differ by race, with behavioral items equally representing REH and RED across the different groups. Further, higher-order relationships among the facets of REH and RED do not vary across race, with a single second-order factor accounting for the relationships. This single factor is theorized to represent a root intergroup prejudice that leads to harassment and discrimination. However, as anticipated, individuals from minority groups generally reported higher levels of REH and RED once measurement equivalence has been established. Together, the results suggest that both intergroup prejudice (which is multidirectional) and racism (which originates in powerful groups against other groups) are operating in REH and RED experiences.

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