Poverty-stricken teenagers likelier to face discrimination, have poor health
- BCCI says it can't control bookies, promises to 'fix' guilty players
- Counter-terrorism to top Indo-US Security dialogue agenda: Sushilkumar Shinde
- IPL 2013 LIVE SCORE: Pune Warriors bat, Ashok Dinda back
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives today, PM to seek early revival of border talks
- Telangana very much part of UPA national agenda: P C Chacko
Discrimination felt by teenagers based on their social class background can contribute to physiologic changes associated with poorer health, a new study has revealed.
Thomas Fuller-Rowell, lead author from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that while the link between poverty and poor health has long been known, this is one of the first studies to consider the impact of class discrimination. "The findings of our study suggest that the stress caused by social-class discrimination may be an important factor in explaining the negative influence of poverty on health," Fuller-Rowell said.
The study looked at 17-year-olds from upstate New York enrolled in a long-running Cornell University study of rural poverty. The vast majority of the 252 teens were white, so the study did not look at the effect of race.
"Experiences of discrimination are often subtle rather than blatant, and the exact reason for unfair treatment is often not clear to the victim" he said.
For these reasons, rather than asking the study participants if they had experienced discrimination specifically based on their class background, the study measured general perceptions of discrimination.
For example, they were asked: "How often do people treat you differently because of your background?"
Then researchers took overnight urine samples, and other tests to assess stress on the body, including measures of blood pressure and stress-related hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol.
Together, these factors can measure a person's "allostatic load," a term that describes the negative health changes caused by a frequent exposure to stress.
The study found that teenagers who grew up in poverty reported higher levels of discrimination, and that discrimination, in turn, predicted allostatic load.
In other words, the poorer the teens, the more they experienced discrimination, the worse their health measures were. Fuller-Rowell's model suggests that about 13 percent of the negative health effects of poverty on health can be attributed to perceived discrimination.
- Quake-hit and shaken, Bhaderwah spends nights in the open
- UP blast accused dies on way to jail, govt wanted to drop case against him
- Former civil aviation secy changes mind, seeks airport security exemption as EC
- BCCI suspects Gujarat players in other teams were also approached
- Police on money trail, Sreesanth in fresh trouble
- Chhattisgarh 'encounter' leaves 8 villagers dead, no Maoist link yet