As if cyber-bullying and obesity weren’t drastically affecting children enough, a new study shows racism is a lead cause in deteriorating American children’s mental health and wellness. Go figure. Not that we needed another reason not to be racist, but the study is pretty compelling.
Dr. Ashaunta Anderson, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California-Riverside, led the study. She surveyed data of about 100,000 children nationwide and questioned parents or guardians about their children’s health, USA Today reports. Researchers found a significant correlation between racism and health, showing an increase in mental illness based on experience. Exposure to racism raised the likeliness of ADHD to about three percent and reportedly doubled the probability of a child developing depression and/or anxiety.
The study also noted the effects racism has on children of different socioeconomic backgrounds. Black children of low-income households, whom are often most impacted by racism, showed drastic dips in health. Similarly, high-income white children and low-income “others” – which include ethnicities that fall outside of black, Latino, or white – also experience low levels of mental health.
Despite the new developments in Dr. Anderson’s study, researchers can’t be 100 percent sure racism is the lead cause of mental health in children, but Anderson says her study is getting closer to proving there is direct link between the two. Dr. Anderson will reportedly be presenting her study to a board this weekend.