"More than skin deep": stress neurobiology and mental health consequences of racial discrimination

Berger, Maximus, and Sarnyai, Zoltán (2015) "More than skin deep": stress neurobiology and mental health consequences of racial discrimination. Stress, 18 (1). pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Ethnic minority groups across the world face a complex set of adverse social and psychological challenges linked to their minority status, often involving racial discrimination. Racial discrimination is increasingly recognized as an important contributing factor to health disparities among non-dominant ethnic minorities. A growing body of literature has recognized these health disparities and has investigated the relationship between racial discrimination and poor health outcomes. Chronically elevated cortisol levels and a dysregulated hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis appear to mediate effects of racial discrimination on allostatic load and disease. Racial discrimination seems to converge on the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and may impair the function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hence showing substantial similarities to chronic social stress. This review provides a summary of recent literature on hormonal and neural effects of racial discrimination and a synthesis of potential neurobiological pathways by which discrimination affects mental health.

Item ID: 37351
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: allostatic load, racism, salience network, social defeat, social exclusion, stress
ISSN: 1607-8888
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2015 04:43
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1109 Neurosciences > 110999 Neurosciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920111 Nervous System and Disorders @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920503 Health Related to Specific Ethnic Groups @ 40%
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