University Of Tasmania
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Racism, social resources and mental health for Aboriginal people living in Adelaide

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 19:00 authored by Ziersch, A, Gallaher, G, Baum, F, Bentley, M
BACKGROUND: This paper examines whether reported experience of racism by Aboriginal people living in Adelaide is negatively associated with mental health, and whether social resources ameliorate the mental health effects of racism. METHODS: Face-to-face structured and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 153 Aboriginal people. Data on self-reported experiences of racism (average regularity of racism across a number of settings, regular racism in at least one setting), social resources (socialising, group membership, social support, talking/expressing self about racism), health behaviours (smoking, alcohol), socio-demographic (age, gender, education, financial situation) and mental health (SF-12 measure) are reported. Separate staged linear regression models assessed the association between the two measures of racism and mental health, after accounting for socio-demographic characteristics and health behaviours. Social resource variables were added to these models to see if they attenuated any relationship between racism and mental health. RESULTS: The two measures of racism were negatively associated with mental health after controlling for socioeconomic factors and health behaviours. These relationships remained after adding social resource measures. Non-smokers had better mental health, and mental health increased with positive assessments of financial situation. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Reducing racism should be a central strategy in improving mental health for Aboriginal people.


Publication title

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health




231 - 237




Wicking Dementia Research Education Centre


Public Health Assoc Australia Inc

Place of publication

Po Box 319, Curtin, Australia, Act, 2600

Rights statement

© 2011 The Authors. ANZJPH © 2011 Published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander determinants of health

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