Experience of racism as a correlate of developmental and health outcomes among urban adolescent mental health clients

Michael Surko, Dianne Ciro, Caryl Blackwood, Michael Nembhard, Ken Peake

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Correlates of race/ethnicity and perceived racism among 760 urban, predominantly Hispanic/Latino and African-American, adolescent mental health clients were investigated using an exploratory, clinical data-mining approach. All racial/ethnic groups reported substantial rates of racism, ranging from 80.0% for Asian/Pacific Islanders to 32.4% for Hispanic/Latinos. Racism was associated with significantly elevated environmental risk (e.g., violence, sexual abuse or assault, exposure to drug use), behavioral risk (e.g., drug use) and worry (e.g., worry about hurting self or others, worry about doing dangerous things). Overall, racism was significantly associated with more negative health and well-being outcomes than ability to get a gun, sexual orientation, and being enrolled in school. The authors conclude that experience of racism should be routinely assessed at intake to mental health services along with traumatic experiences such as physical or sexual abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-260
Number of pages26
JournalSocial Work in Mental Health
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Help-seeking
  • Mental health
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Racism
  • Risk factors
  • Trauma

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