Discrimination partly explains why Blacks are more depressed than average in Europe
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OSC Scientific Seminar 2021-2022
Friday 17th June 2022, 11:30 am
Sciences Po (1, Place Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin), room K011
Discrimination partly explains why
Blacks are more depressed than average in Europe
Associate Scientist, CNRS, Sciences Po - OSC
While studies on the association between perceived discrimination and adverse mental health outcomes abound, those that investigate the role of discrimination in the production of mental health disparities are rare.
My work contributes to the latter field by examining whether discrimination creates disparities in depressive symptoms between Asians or Blacks in Europe. Using the social stress model as a theoretical guide, the empirical strategy consists in combining cross-sectional epidemiological data from the representative European Social Survey (sample size 37,406) with evidence from a large-scale field experiment (sample size 4,555).
A mediation analysis performed on the ESS data confirms that European Blacks, but not clearly Asians, report more symptoms of depression than the reference group, and that this excess in depression is mediated by perceived discrimination. Similarly, the field experiment corroborates that Blacks, and less univocally so Asians, are discriminated against in everyday interactions. Together, the two studies concur to support the social stress hypothesis that Blacks’ surplus in depression symptoms results from greater exposure to discrimination.