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Racial/Ethnic Residential Segregation and Mental Health Outcomes

  • Kellee White
  • Jourdyn A. Lawrence
Chapter
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)

Abstract

Racial/ethnic residential segregation is widely considered a spatial manifestation of institutionalized racism and plays a significant role in the well-being and health of African Americans and Latinos in the USA and immigrant groups in the UK. This chapter highlights residential segregation as a key factor influencing symptom onset, service utilization, management of mental health outcomes, and perpetuation of mental health inequities. The number of studies testing the association of residential segregation with mental health outcomes and service utilization has grown; however, the findings from this body of research are largely mixed, with a majority of the studies demonstrating a beneficial association and several reporting adverse or no associations. A brief summary of the empirical literature and patterns of population mental health outcomes by race/ethnicity is provided. Differential exposure to neighborhood economic, physical, and social stressors—as well as the health-promoting resources that are cultivated in segregated neighborhoods to promote resilience and buffer against material disadvantage—are discussed. The chapter concludes with remarks on future directions for research, clinical practice, and population-based approaches that have an important role to play in stimulating meaningful efforts to reduce the burden of mental health and sustaining action toward achieving mental health equity.

Keywords

Racial/ethnic residential segregation Mental health Blacks Latinos Ethnicity Ethnic density 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of South Carolina—Arnold School of Public HealthColumbiaUSA

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