African Americans and Stress

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Research shows that African Americans are disproportionately affected by stress. The American Psychological Association (APA) cites situations when stress is a burden on health, including:

•  Discrimination has been found to be a key factor in stress-related health disparities, including mental health disorders among ethnic/racial and other minority groups

•  African Americans have high rates of hypertension and diabetes due to stress caused by discrimination

•  Stress because of racism combined with general stress may lead to adverse birth outcomes

•  Discrimination/racism can play a part in unhealthy behaviors, such cigarette smoking, alcohol/drug use, poor nutrition and unwillingness to seek medical services

The APA also states, “Acculturative stress refers to the feeling of tension and anxiety that accompany efforts to adapt to the orientation and values of [another] culture.” This kind of stress can make worse conditions like hypertension depression, drug addiction and anxiety disorders.

Read more at http://www.apa.org/topics/health-disparities/stress.pdf.

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