PSC Paper - ‘Scientific Racism’ and structural inequalities- Implications for researching Black mental health .pdf (2.22 MB)

‘Scientific Racism’ and structural inequalities: Implications for researching Black mental health

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posted on 08.02.2021, 20:19 by Dawn Edge, Jamal Alston, Erinma Ochu
Ethnic inequalities in mental healthcare is one of the most consistent findings in UK research. Perhaps the most stubborn, is substantially elevated risk of diagnosis with schizophrenia and related psychoses among people of African and Caribbean descent (Black) compared with White British peers1. This difference is not replicated in findings from research in Africa2 and the Caribbean3, generating several theories to explain the racialised inequities in the UK. Hypotheses underpinned by biological (e.g. genetics), social (e.g. urbanicity or economic disadvantage), and psychological theories have been proposed yet none are conclusive. Intriguingly, Black people in England are significantly less likely to be diagnosed with neurotic disorders such as depression and anxiety, suggesting more nuanced approaches to understanding and addressing these disparities are needed.

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