Ethnic and racial harassment and mental health: identifying sources of resilience

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ISER Working Paper Series


Alita Nandi, Renee Reichl Luthra and Michaela Benzeval

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In this paper, using data from Understanding Society over the period 2009-2014, we find that ethnic minorities with lower socio-economic status and those who were born in the UK report worse mental health (GHQ). Those who report experiencing ethnic and racial harassment (ERH) also report worse mental health than those who do not. We also found that ethnic minorities living in areas with a higher proportion of co-ethnics reported better mental health. However, ethnic concentration was not protective; rather, ERH had a stronger negative association with mental health for UK born minorities living in such areas. . We identified additional resilience factors: number of close friends and having certain personality traits – higher levels of Openness to Experience and Conscientiousness. We also found those who attend religious services more frequently and have higher levels of Agreebleness and Extraversion are poorly equipped to deal with ethnic and racial harassment.


Area Effects, Social Networks, Psychology, Religion, Ethnic Groups, Well Being, Social Capital, Health, Social Stratification, Social Behaviour, Social Psychology and Race Relations



Is referenced by: Nandi, Alita ; Luthra, Renee Reichl (2016) ‘Written evidence submitted by the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex’. Home Affairs Committee. Hate crime and its violent consequences inquiry, HCR0090. Colchester: University of Essex: Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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