Everyday discrimination and physical health: Exploring mental health processes

J Health Psychol. 2016 Oct;21(10):2218-28. doi: 10.1177/1359105315572456. Epub 2015 Mar 2.


Goals of this study were to examine the mental health processes whereby everyday discrimination is associated with physical health outcomes. Data are drawn from a community health survey conducted with 1299 US adults in a low-resource urban area. Frequency of everyday discrimination was associated with overall self-rated health, use of the emergency department, and one or more chronic diseases via stress and depressive symptoms operating in serial mediation. Associations were consistent across members of different racial/ethnic groups and were observed even after controlling for indicators of stressors associated with structural discrimination, including perceived neighborhood unsafety, food insecurity, and financial stress.

Keywords: depressive symptoms; everyday discrimination; health; stress; structural discrimination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Connecticut / ethnology
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty / ethnology*
  • Prejudice / ethnology*
  • Stress, Psychological / ethnology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult