Study: Viewing The World Through The Eyes Of Your Minority Group Might Harm Your Mental Health

Amber Randall | Civil Rights Reporter

Minorities identifying strongly with their ethnic groups might cause them to suffer from some mental health issues, according to a new study.

A group of studies revealed that, while identifying with their groups could be beneficial to minorities, it could also come with some inadvertent costs, reports PysPost. Overall, the two studies found that the more minorities identified with their ethnic group, the more they saw discrimination in their surroundings.

“Intuitively, it seems like a good thing for individuals to feel valued within the different social groups they belong to. Yet the findings from our research suggest that for racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, while there are indeed clear benefits to feeling valued and admired within one’s respective minority group there may also be certain indirect costs,” University of Exeter postdoctoral research fellow Christopher T. Begeny told PsyPost.

The studies surveyed 1,087 participants who were either Asian, Black, Latino or gay and how they felt within each of their groups. The studies, conducted in 2016 and 2017, revealed that having a group with which to identify provided some health benefits. But researchers noted that the more people identified with their ethnic group, the more they perceived discrimination in their everyday lives, leading them to suffer more “indirect health effects.”

Despite these findings, researchers still said that the benefits of indenifying with one’s ethnic group outweighed the negative.

“And in every study, we have consistently found that the benefits do in fact outweigh the costs,” Begeny said.

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