Stress From Racial Discrimination May Lead to Violent Behavior

Research conducted at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis finds that stress increases the risk for violent behavior among African American youths. The study examined stress among African Americans aged 19-25. The results showed that stress stemming from economic factors or neighborhood problems did not increase the risk for violent behavior among the cohort group. However, the study showed that African Americans who were stressed from racial discrimination were more likely to lash out with violence.

The study also showed that African Americans ages 19 to 25 who were exposed to stress from financial, neighborhood, or discriminatory factors were more likely to develop symptoms of depression.

Lorena Estrada-Martinez, an assistant professor of social work at Washington University and lead author of the study, stated, “Racial discrimination serves as a lightning rod for violent interactions and must be eliminated from society at the structural level.”

The article, which will be published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, may be accessed here.

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  1. not to sound mean; but there was no need for a study or even an article on this one; no one likes to be mistreated or stereotyped

  2. I agree with Kim. Indeed, discrimination is a traumatic experience despite the majority’s effort to normalize their behavior that dehumanizes others. Anger, disgust, fear are all reasonable human emotions to this phenomena. The sooner folks accept this, the better off we all will be.

    • I find it amazing how these “scholars” and “experts” speak about and on behalf of those of us in poverty like we are mutes, invisible and are not coherent. Ask us and we will tell you what you are already privy, it is INDEED frustrating to be qualified, college educated and have a wealth of experience (being poor, creativity is a MUST) and told you’re “overqualified” like that is A PROUD thing when you need reputable employment. It asinine that those of us MUST send our children to failing and antiquated schools where there are NO residency laws so therefore there have to be NO REAL INVESTMENT. BUT WHAT DO I KNOW?

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