A multilevel analysis of the relationship between institutional and individual racial discrimination and health status

Am J Public Health. 2002 Apr;92(4):615-23. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.4.615.


Objectives: This study examined whether individual (self-perceived) and institutional (segregation and redlining) racial discrimination was associated with poor health status among members of an ethnic group.

Methods: Adult respondents (n = 1503) in the cross-sectional Chinese American Psychiatric Epidemiologic Study were geocoded to the 1990 census and the 1995 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act database. Hierarchical linear modeling assessed the relationship between discrimination and scores on the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36 and revised Symptom Checklist 90 health status measures.

Results: Individual and institutional measures of racial discrimination were associated with health status after control for acculturation, sex, age, social support, income, health insurance, employment status, education, neighborhood poverty, and housing value.

Conclusions: The data support the hypothesis that discrimination at multiple levels influences the health of minority group members.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adult
  • Asian / psychology
  • Asian / statistics & numerical data*
  • China / ethnology
  • Databases, Factual
  • Decision Making, Organizational
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Housing / economics
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups / psychology
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Poverty Areas
  • Prejudice*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Perception
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology*