Your Health- How racism affects the body

Health Reports

In a new research report published last year, more than eight in ten black Americans said they thought blacks are treated less fairly than whites by the criminal justice system in dealing with police and in hiring, pay and promotions.

But does dealing with discrimination also affect a person’s health?

Protests, rallies and movements when it comes to racism. It’s clear what many Americans want.

Racism causes many types of psychological harm. Now scientists are finding out that it might also affect a person’s health.

In a review of 121 studies, researchers found adolescents between ages 12 and 18 who experienced discrimination were significantly more likely to have depression and anxiety.

Other research has suggested victims of racism reported a lower quality of life, higher levels of stress and poorer health overall.

“To make people feel really hopeless and fatigued and like they’re constantly fighting an uphill battle just to be themselves,” said Dr. Wendy DuBow, Senior Social Scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

In a recent study, scientists looked at 40 Mexican American students. They found the participants who watched a stigmatizing video performed slower on a test where they could win money.

The author said that exposure to the negative stereotyping changed the behavior of the subcortical nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain associated with the anticipation of reward and punishment.

Just another way racism can effect the body in a negative way.

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