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Perceived discrimination, identification, social capital and well-being : relationships with physical health and psychological distress in a UK minority ethnic community sample

Heim, Stephan Derek and Hunter, Simon and Jones, Russell (2011) Perceived discrimination, identification, social capital and well-being : relationships with physical health and psychological distress in a UK minority ethnic community sample. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42 (7). pp. 1145-1164. ISSN 0022-0221

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Abstract

This study examined racism, ethnic and majority identification, cognitive aspects of social capital (i.e., a sense of trust), and perceived stress and evaluated the relationships between these variables and two indices of adjustment (physical health, psychological well-being) in three minority ethnic community samples in Scotland, United Kingdom. Pakistani (n = 211, 101 female), Indian (n = 155, 81 female), and African and Caribbean (n = 244, 119 female) individuals participated in semistructured interviews. Racism was associated with higher levels of perceived stress, lower levels of social capital, higher levels of minority identity, and lower levels of majority identity. Racism was also associated with psychological well-being (though in different ways for different groups) and with poorer physical health. Minority identification was positively associated with psychological well-being and negatively with perceived stress, while majority identification was positively associated with social capital and negatively with physical health. Implications of these findings are discussed with reference to the literature.