Background: Racism has been identified as an important determinant of health but few studies have explored associations between racism and health outcomes for Australian Aboriginal young people in urban areas.
Methods: Cross sectional data from participants aged 12-26 years in Wave 1 of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service’s Young People’s Project were included in hierarchical logistic regression models. Overall mental health, depression and general health were all considered as outcomes with self-reported racism as the exposure, adjusting for a range of relevant confounders.
Results: Racism was reported by a high proportion (52.3%) of participants in this study. Self-reported racism was significantly associated with poor overall mental health (OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.25-5.70, p = 0.01) and poor general health (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.03-4.57, p = 0.04), and marginally associated with increased depression (OR 2.0; 95% CI 0.97-4.09, p = 0.06) in the multivariate models. Number of worries and number of friends were both found to be effect modifiers for the association between self-reported racism and overall mental health. Getting angry at racist remarks was found to mediate the relationship between self-reported racism and general health.
Conclusions: This study highlights the need to acknowledge and address racism as an important determinant of health and wellbeing for Aboriginal young people in urban areas of Australia.
The information contained on this website has been sourced by the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) and AIPEP 2. The first AIPEP was funded by the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning. AIPEP 2 is part of the Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Project, funded by the Million Minds Mission Grant. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning or the Million Minds Mission Grant.
Several of the images used throughout this website are credited to Chris Lewis