Race Masks Health-Disparity Complexity; 10/29/16

October 29, 2016


Jaffe, E. (2016). Race Masks Health-Disparity Complexity. Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved from: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/video/jackson-kicks-off-aps-convention.html.




At the 24th APS Annual Convention, the topic of disparities being associated with race was discussed, with this association particularly in question.


Although few physical differences exist among Whites and Blacks during early childhood, race continues to be named as the sole purpose for health disparities across these groups. Many disparities are indeed present when considering Black and White populations, including that Black individuals tend to have higher rates of smoking, obesity, low physical activity, and drug abuse. However, African Americans have been found to have better mental health than Whites, including less rates of depressive disorders.


Instead of placing race as the one and only reason for differences among groups, Jackson of the University of Michigan believes that multiple factors lead to disparities. These factors include cultural factors and how individuals respond to stress, as well as what coping mechanisms are utilized. In this case, bad coping mechanisms lead to more negative health outcomes. In research conducted by Jackson and others, disparities still exist even when manipulating data to control for race.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *