Conceptualizing and Measuring Ethnic Discrimination in Health Research

  • Hope LandrineEmail author
  • Elizabeth A. Klonoff
  • Irma Corral
  • Senaida Fernandez
  • Scott Roesch
Original Article

This paper presents the General Ethnic Discrimination Scale, an 18-item measure of perceived ethnic discrimination that can be used in health research with any ethnic group. The 1569 participants (half college students, half community adults) completed the General Ethnic Discrimination scale and measures of cigarette smoking and of psychiatric symptoms. Results revealed that the General Ethnic Discrimination subscales model the latent construct of perceived ethnic discrimination equally well for Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Whites. Discrimination was strongly related to psychiatric symptoms and to current cigarette smoking for ethnic minorities and Whites alike, but such relationships were stronger for ethnic minorities. Minorities who experienced frequent discrimination were 2.3 times more likely than their low-discrimination counterparts to be smokers. This 5th grade reading-level scale takes 10 min to complete and has sufficient, initial psychometric integrity for use in clinical and community health studies.


ethnic discrimination scale minorities health smoking. 



Supported by funds provided by National Cancer Institute Grants No. 1-U56-CA92079-01A1 and 5F31-CA110213-01; the University of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program Grants 8RT-0013 and 9RT-0043; and by the California Department of Health Services Tobacco Control Section Grants 90-11528, 94-20962, and 96-26617.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hope Landrine
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Elizabeth A. Klonoff
    • 1
  • Irma Corral
    • 1
  • Senaida Fernandez
    • 2
  • Scott Roesch
    • 3
  1. 1.Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Health InstituteSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoU.S.A.
  2. 2.Columbia University Medical CenterNew YarkU.S.A.
  3. 3.Psychology DepartmentSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoU.S.A.
  4. 4.Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Health InstituteSan Diego State University, 6363 Alvarado CourtSan DiegoU.S.A.

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