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Higher Rates of Racial Discrimination Reported Amongst Indigenous, Black Children in the US.

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Black and Indigenous children are forced to deal with higher levels of racism, according to a new study. 

Published in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, the study, titled “Racial discrimination among children in the United States from 2016 to 2020: an analysis of the National Survey of Children’s Health,” was conducted by researchers from Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. 

 For the study, they looked at information from the National Survey of Children’s Health, a national survey held by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Looking at data from 2016 to 2020, the researchers focused on reports of racism towards children of different racial and ethnic groups.

In their results, they found that racism towards children from BIPOC communities increased significantly from 6.7% in 2016 to 9.3% four years later in 2020. 

Of the children from BIPOC communities that reported incidents of racism, Indigenous children were amongst the groups most affected, composing the highest rate at 10.8% in 2016 to 15.7% in 2020. 

Black children were the second most affected. Overall, reports of racism from the parents of Black children made up 9.69% of all discrimination reports in 2018- a statistic that grew to 15.04% in 2020. 

“Identifying ongoing trends in childhood experiences of racial discrimination can highlight potential policy and media changes that could mitigate the harm caused,” said Amy Hendrix-Dicken, the co-author of the study and a researcher from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, per a news release. “Our study underlines the need for clinicians to expand their anti-racism resources and also highlights the role culturally competent health care can play in lessening the effects of adverse childhood experiences with racism.”

The impact of discrimination on the mental health of children has been well-documented before. The latest study on the topic, released on Dec. 01, 2021, in the Pediatrics journal, looked at data from the Transition into Adulthood Supplement study and found that discrimination of any kind had several long-term and effects on the growth of adolescents. 

In their conclusion, they stated that, as a result of discrimination, higher rates of drug use, mental illness diseases, poorer health and mental distress were all reported. 

The findings already built on previous research which already linked discrimination to the neuroendocrine stress response, resulting in an overload of stress for children and young adults.

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