Background: This paper examines whether reported experience of racism by Aboriginal people living in Adelaide is negatively associated with mental health, and whether social resources ameliorate the mental health effects of racism.
Methods: Face-to-face structured and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 153 Aboriginal people. Data on self-reported experiences of racism (average regularity of racism across a number of settings, regular racism in at least one setting), social resources (socialising, group membership, social support, talking/expressing self about racism), health behaviours (smoking, alcohol), socio-demographic (age, gender, education, financial situation) and mental health (SF-12 measure) are reported. Separate staged linear regression models assessed the association between the two measures of racism and mental health, after accounting for socio-demographic characteristics and health behaviours. Social resource variables were added to these models to see if they attenuated any relationship between racism and mental health.
Results: The two measures of racism were negatively associated with mental health after controlling for socioeconomic factors and health behaviours. These relationships remained after adding social resource measures. Non-smokers had better mental health, and mental health increased with positive assessments of financial situation.
Conclusion and Implications: Reducing racism should be a central strategy in improving mental health for Aboriginal people.
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