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The DRUID study: racism and self-assessed health status in an indigenous population

Paradies, Yin C and Cunningham, Joan 2012, The DRUID study: racism and self-assessed health status in an indigenous population, BMC public health, vol. 12, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-131.

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Title The DRUID study: racism and self-assessed health status in an indigenous population
Author(s) Paradies, Yin CORCID iD for Paradies, Yin C orcid.org/0000-0001-9927-7074
Cunningham, Joan
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 12
Article ID 131
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1471-2458
1471-2458
Keyword(s) Adolescent
Adult
Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Australia
Female
Health Status Disparities
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Oceanic Ancestry Group
Prejudice
Self Report
Stress, Psychological
Young Adult
Summary Background
There is now considerable evidence from around the world that racism is associated with both mental and physical ill-health. However, little is known about the mediating factors between racism and ill-health. This paper investigates relationships between racism and self-assessed mental and physical health among Indigenous Australians as well as potential mediators of these relationships.

Methods

A total of 164 adults in the Darwin Region Urban Indigenous Diabetes (DRUID) study completed a validated instrument assessing interpersonal racism and a separate item on discrimination-related stress. Self-assessed health status was measured using the SF-12. Stress, optimism, lack of control, social connections, cultural identity and reactions/responses to interpersonal racism were considered as mediators and moderators of the relationship between racism/discrimination and self-assessed health status.

Results
After adjusting for socio-demographic factors, interpersonal racism was significantly associated with the SF-12 mental (but not the physical) health component. Stress, lack of control and feeling powerless as a reaction to racism emerged as significant mediators of the relationship between racism and general mental health. Similar findings emerged for discrimination-related stress.

Conclusions
Racism/discrimination is significantly associated with poor general mental health among this indigenous population. The mediating factors between racism and mental health identified in this study suggest new approaches to ameliorating the detrimental effects of racism on health. In particular, the importance of reducing racism-related stress, enhancing general levels of mastery, and minimising negative social connections in order to ameliorate the negative consequences of racism.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-12-131
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 0 Not Applicable
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Paradies
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30093542

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.