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J Health Soc Behav. 2012;53(2):199-214. doi: 10.1177/0022146512444289. Epub 2012 May 15.

Multiple forms of perceived discrimination and health among adolescents and young adults.

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Indiana University, 1020 E.Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


Research on perceived discrimination has overwhelmingly focused on one form of discrimination, especially race discrimination, in isolation from other forms. The present article uses data from the Black Youth Culture Survey, a nationally representative, racially and ethnically diverse sample of 1,052 adolescents and young adults to investigate the prevalence, distribution, and mental and physical health consequences of multiple forms of perceived discrimination. The findings suggest that disadvantaged groups, especially multiply disadvantaged youth, face greater exposure to multiple forms of discrimination than their more privileged counterparts. The experience of multiple forms of discrimination is associated with worse mental and physical health above the effect of only one form and contributes to the relationship between multiple disadvantaged statuses and health. These findings suggest that past research may misspecify the discrimination-health relationship and fails to account for the disproportionate exposure to discrimination faced by multiply disadvantaged individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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