Race and Social Problems

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 15–32 | Cite as

A Meta-Analytic Review of Racial Discrimination: Relationships to Health and Culture

  • Robert T. CarterEmail author
  • Veronica E. Johnson
  • Katherine Kirkinis
  • Katheryn Roberson
  • Carrie Muchow
  • Corinne Galgay


This meta-analysis systematically reviewed 242 studies (1805 effect sizes) published between 1998 and 2015 and examined the correlations between racial discrimination, health (physical health, mental health, and substance use), and cultural outcomes (acculturation, racial identity, collective self-esteem, ethnic identity, and racial socialization) among racial-ethnic minority Americans. The relationships between several moderators were examined (e.g., gender, race) using subgroup analyses and meta-regression. The meta-analysis was conducted using Fisher’s Z with a robust variance estimation method that accounted for the dependence among correlations in the same study. Findings suggest that the direct overall relationship between racial discrimination, health, and culture was strongest for mental health (r = .207), then substance use (r = .159), culture (r = .101), and physical health (r = .067); findings were confirmed by a meta-regression that controlled for several variables. Findings also indicated that convenience samples yielded higher correlations compared to national probability samples, and Asian and Native American racial groups had stronger effects from racial discrimination than did blacks. Race, gender, and measurement characteristics are discussed, as well as research, and educational and clinical implications.


Racial discrimination Mental and physical health Racial-ethnic Americans Meta-analysis 

Supplementary material

12552_2018_9256_MOESM1_ESM.docx (61 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 496 KB)
12552_2018_9256_MOESM2_ESM.doc (496 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 61 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert T. Carter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Veronica E. Johnson
    • 2
  • Katherine Kirkinis
    • 3
  • Katheryn Roberson
    • 3
  • Carrie Muchow
    • 1
  • Corinne Galgay
    • 1
  1. 1.Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.State University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA

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