Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 14–28 | Cite as

Dimensions of Perceived Racism and Self-Reported Health: Examination of Racial/Ethnic Differences and Potential Mediators

  • Elizabeth Brondolo
  • Leslie R. M. Hausmann
  • Juhee Jhalani
  • Melissa Pencille
  • Jennifer Atencio-Bacayon
  • Asha Kumar
  • Jasmin Kwok
  • Jahanara Ullah
  • Alan Roth
  • Daniel Chen
  • Robert Crupi
  • Joseph Schwartz
Original Article



Many details of the negative relationship between perceived racial/ethnic discrimination and health are poorly understood.


The purpose of this study was to examine racial/ethnic differences in the relationship between perceived discrimination and self-reported health, identify dimensions of discrimination that drive this relationship, and explore psychological mediators.


Asian, Black, and Latino(a) adults (N = 734) completed measures of perceived racial/ethnic discrimination, self-reported health, depression, anxiety, and cynical hostility.


The association between perceived discrimination and poor self-reported health was significant and did not differ across racial/ethnic subgroups. Race-related social exclusion and threat/harassment uniquely contributed to poor health for all groups. Depression, anxiety, and cynical hostility fully mediated the effect of social exclusion on health, but did not fully explain the effect of threat.


Our results suggest that noxious effects of race-related exclusion and threat transcend between-group differences in discriminatory experiences. The effects of race-related exclusion and threat on health, however, may operate through different mechanisms.


Racism Ethnic discrimination Self-reported health Health Social exclusion Meditation Depression 


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Brondolo
    • 1
  • Leslie R. M. Hausmann
    • 2
  • Juhee Jhalani
    • 1
  • Melissa Pencille
    • 1
  • Jennifer Atencio-Bacayon
    • 1
  • Asha Kumar
    • 1
  • Jasmin Kwok
    • 1
  • Jahanara Ullah
    • 1
  • Alan Roth
    • 3
  • Daniel Chen
    • 4
  • Robert Crupi
    • 4
  • Joseph Schwartz
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySt. John’s UniversityJamaicaUSA
  2. 2.Research Health Science Specialist, Health Services Research & Development Service, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Health Care SystemCenter for Health Equity Research and PromotionPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Jamaica Hospital Medical CenterJamaicaUSA
  4. 4.Flushing Hospital Medical CenterFlushingUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatrySUNY Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

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