The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, February 19, 2018

Research Claims That Strongly Identifying With Your Race Can Have a Negative Impact on Your Mental Health

Black man covering his ears

New research claims that feeling deeply valued by one's own sexual, ethnic, or racial minority group could actually have a negative impact on one's psychological health.
The two studies published in 2016 and 2017 revealed that the more a person views the world through the eyes of his sexual or racial orientation, the more he would feel that he has been suffering from discrimination which could lead to "indirect health effects."

Moreover, the studies that surveyed 1,087 Black, Latino, Asian, as well as gay Americans revealed how they felt within each of their groups. The studies discovered that while relating to a group contributes some health benefits, there are also negative effects if one feels strongly valued and admired in their group.

"Intuitively, it seems like a good thing for individuals to feel valued within the different social groups they belong to. Yet the findings from our research suggest that for racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, while there are indeed clear benefits to feeling valued and admired within one’s respective minority group there may also be certain indirect costs," Christopher T. Begeny, one of the study authors, said.

Despite these findings, the study says that the benefits of identifying with one's group still outweigh all the potential negative health impact.
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