Deakin University
Download file
Download file
2 files

Exploring the mental health benefits of participation in an Australian anti-racism intervention

journal contribution
posted on 2018-02-01, 00:00 authored by M Kelaher, A S Ferdinand, Yin ParadiesYin Paradies, D Warr
There is a vast body of research demonstrating the deleterious effects of racism on health. Despite this, there is limited research that considers the health benefits of anti-racism interventions. We assess the mental health effects for young people participating in an anti-racism intervention that was based on the principles of intergroup contact theory and delivered through five projects addressing specific issues and contexts. An evaluation of the intervention used a before-and-after design. The analyses reported here focus on data collected from participants who completed both pre- and post-intervention surveys (n = 246). Analyses examine the characteristics of participants, the environment for intergroup contact (equal status between ethnic groups, shared goals, co-operation and institutional support for intergroup relationships) and basic psychological needs (competence, relatedness and autonomy) as defined by Self-Determination Theory. The results suggest that the projects met the criteria for promoting positive intergroup contact. There was also evidence that participants' involvement in these projects had positive effects on their autonomy, with particular improvements among people with ethnicities other than 'Australian'. The findings suggest that anti-racism interventions can have positive mental health effects for participants. These benefits redress some of the individual-level effects of racism experiences by supporting young people to develop confidence and self-esteem.



Health promotion international






107 - 114


Oxford University Press


Oxford, Eng.



Indigenous content

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologise for any distress that may occur.



Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, The Authors