UCLA researchers disclosed that people who faced any discrimination had a 26% greater risk of poor health than those who said they hadn’t endured any. And young people who faced discrimination often—defined as at least a few times monthly—saw a roughly 25% jump in their likelihood of being diagnosed with a mental illness over those who experienced little or no discrimination. They were also twice as likely to develop severe psychological stress.
The study further proposed a link between the effects of discrimination on young people and the disparate levels of care they receive in the healthcare system.
“The associations we found are likely also intertwined with mental healthcare service disparities—including inequities in care access, provider biases, and structural and institutional discrimination in healthcare— leading to inequities in diagnoses, treatment, and outcomes,” said Dr. Adam Schickedanz, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Geffen School of Medicine and the study’s senior author.