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October 2018

Structuring Research to Address Discrimination as a Factor in Child and Adolescent Health

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care, Department of Pediatrics, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 3Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research, Outreach, and Advocacy Center, Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 4Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(10):910-912. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.2335

Racial tensions and conversations about racial discrimination are squarely in the current collective consciousness of the United States. Recurring police-involved shootings of people of color, racially derogatory social media messages, and racially charged public protests are accompanied by the increasingly inflammatory (rather than constructive) language of public figures and elected officials. In this context, identifying and understanding how discrimination affects the health of individuals from minority backgrounds (eg, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion) are particularly high priorities for research and intervention. If we are to address major disparities in health that fall along the fault lines of majority and minority communities, research must openly acknowledge and authentically address discrimination, its causes, and its consequences.

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