Racial Disparities in Mental Health: A Data-Driven Learning Guide Go to Resource

Summary

Race is a social category of people labeled and treated as similar because of some common traits, such as skin color, texture of hair, and shape of eyes. Racial categories are not natural, biological categories. Different societies identify different characteristics that distinguish one race from another. Racial categories are often reflected social rankings and access to resources.

Numerous disciplines study mental health and illness. The sociological approach to mental health focuses on the social conditions that influence psychological functioning as well as the processes linking social conditions and psychological well-being. Researchers might use measures such as self-reported mental health, medical diagnoses, scales representing symptoms of mental disorders, or number of work days missed due to mental illness.

This exercise will investigate racial disparities in mental illness, particularly differences in reports of depression between African American and White adults. Crosstabulation and linear regression will be used.

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Publisher:
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
Pub. Date:
2009-04-16

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