Racial/ethnic discrimination and common mental disorders among workers: findings from the EMPIRIC Study of Ethnic Minority Groups in the United Kingdom

Am J Public Health. 2005 Mar;95(3):496-501. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2003.033274.

Abstract

Objectives: We measured perceived discrimination and its association with common mental disorders among workers in the United Kingdom.

Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of a national sample of 6 ethnic groups (n=2054). Discrimination was measured as reports of insults; unfair treatment at work; or job denial stemming from race, religion, or language. The outcome assessed was presence of common mental disorders.

Results: The risk of mental disorders was highest among ethnic minority individuals reporting unfair treatment (odds ratio [OR]=2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.2, 3.2) and racial insults (OR=2.3; 95% CI=1.4, 3.6). The overall greatest risks were observed among Black Caribbeans exposed to unfair treatment at work (OR=2.9; 95% CI=1.2, 7.3) and Indian (OR=3.1; 95% CI=1.4, 7.2), Bangladeshi (OR=32.9; 95% CI=2.5, 436.0), and Irish (OR=2.9; 95% CI=1.1, 7.6) individuals reporting insults.

Conclusions: Racial/ethnic discrimination shows strong associations with common mental disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Bangladesh / ethnology
  • Caribbean Region / ethnology
  • Educational Status
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Ireland / ethnology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Marital Status / statistics & numerical data
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology*
  • Minority Groups / education
  • Minority Groups / psychology
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Morbidity
  • Pakistan / ethnology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prejudice*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Workplace / psychology