Psychological Distress: Is There a Difference in Experience of African Americans and Non-Black Americans
Health outcomes in minority ethnic groups are mostly negative when compared with outcomes of non-Hispanic Whites. This health disparity is often attributed to western diets and/or access to care. However, this explanation is over simplified. The negative outcomes seen in African Americans are consistent regardless of income, age, or social standing. Social disadvantage experienced by minorities, and the resulting chronic stress, can explain the health outcomes. This bears to question: how does the chronic stress stemming from social disadvantage affect minorities who also work in stressful careers? Psychological distress is a direct result of stress, and this study measured this experience across race groups, employment categories, and genders. The dependent variable, self-reported psychological distress, shows no statistically significant difference through race, gender, or career choice. Accurate measurement of stress is required in order to examine the difference in health outcomes that contribute to health disparities.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health
Public Health, Public Policy