Comparing Approaches to Measuring Structural Racism

Am J Epidemiol. 2021 Oct 29;kwab261. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwab261. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

In their article, Adkins-Jackson and colleagues provide much needed insight on current approaches and challenges to epidemiologic research on structural racism (Am J Epidemiol. XXXX;XXX(XX):XXXX-XXXX). The authors encourage researchers to consider how structural racism is conceptualized in extant and future work, and whether existing measures accurately reflect the multidimensional nature of structural racism. In the spirit of continuing this conversation, I expand upon approaches to measuring structural racism for use in epidemiologic research. I compare the merits and challenges of scales, indices, indicators, and policy-based measures of structural racism for use in epidemiologic research.

Keywords: measurement; racial inequities; structural racism.