Mental Health and Racism

by AmandaMcc on November 13, 2016 - 7:43pm


Naa Oyo Kwate and Melody Goodman's (2015) study focused on the affect that racism has on the mental health of among the black residents in New York city over the course of one year. Their main hypothesis was that many black residents suffer from mental health issues due to trouble with  racism in various situation. In order to do this study they  recruited one hundred and forty four black residents at random from tow predominantly black neighbourhoods in New York City between December 2011 all the way to June 2013. In order to participant within the study the subjects had to be eighteen years old, speak English and they had to have lived in the Us for at least five years. The study had more women than males. In order to gather results, the subjects had to fill in self-reports surveys. The interviewers (Kwate and Goodman) did a two month follow up and then a one year follow up on the subjects.  After analyzing the results, Kwate and Goodman found that the that the most frequent places for racism was stores at sixty-nine percent and public places at sixty-three percent. Most of the individuals in the study, at least fifty percent according the Kwate and Goodman, had reported thinking about their race but not "experiencing emotional [distress] about how they were treated" (Kwate and Goodman).  Another finding was that their were higher scores for emotional distress, depression and poor wellbeing if the subject was a female. Goodman and Kwate stated that the cross-sectional results were different based on the time and the outcome, with only a small percentage of the results being related to either distress or depression. The authors of the study stated that the type of study that was used for this project was not the correct one. It gave them an partial view of the mental health problems that can be linked to racism. The authors suggested that even though they did make some headway with their research, they were in need of more results to better understand the effects that racism can have on a person mental well-being.

Kwate, N. O. A., & Goodman, M. S. (2015). Cross-sectional and longitudinal effects of racism on mental health among residents of black neighborhoods in new york city. American Journal of Public Health, 105(4), 711-718. Retrieved from





2. The draw backs for this stud was that they only went to two neighbourhoods in New York City that was predominantly black. They also randomly selected people to use in their surveys. There was also a problem with the number of people that were male and female. When comparing their findings the authors discovered that the number of people they discovered that there were more men that women who answered their surveys. This caused problems with the results because they were unable to find differences in the evaluation of racism and mental health outcomes. The survey did have some merits because it did find, however small, some linked to racism and mental health. I believe that if they had included more people and conducted their study differently, teh authors would have received better results thus they could have make some interesting discoveries. One thing that made me think of my race and racism class was that in the article, the authors mentioned that African-Americans had to accept the reality of race, in order to [survive] life in New York City. The authors mentioned that most of the subjects remarked on the use of race as a indicator for suspicion and illegal behaviour: " The police always stop me for no reason at all." "Being stopped by cops. Stopped and frisked because you were Black. For no other reason." Therefore, although the Everyday Discrimination Scale classifies being stopped by the cops as a major event, in New York City, this is a frequent day-to-day occurrence , mainly for men and adolescent boys. This made me think of how we talked about people being judged based purely on physical appearance and people making judgments on an entire race based on the actions of a few. African- Americans are being stopped for no other reason than their looks and preconceived ideas about their race.

About the author

I'm Brianna "Amanda" McCulloch and i am a Champlain college student. I am currently in my last semester studying in the Social Science program. I enjoy reading and animals. In the future, i would like to be a teacher specifically for little kids who are 5 to 10 years old.