Impact of discrimination on mental health

Up to now, there was some indication that discrimination negatively affects a person’s mental health and well-being. With a meta study, female researchers of the University of Mannheim show the clear negative effects of discrimination for the first time.

The work on the current state of research includes 73 experimental studies with more than 12,000 participants. The systematic meta study of Christine Emmer, Julia Dorn, and Professor Dr. Jutta Mata, holder of the chair of Health Psychology at the University of Mannheim, has been published in the renowned Psychological Bulletin journal.

The result: Discrimination directly and indirectly impairs mental health. Discrimination has the greatest effect on aspects like rage and hostility – reactions that target other people.  Discrimination based on sexual orientation had the strongest direct negative impact on mental health. There are too few studies for a systematic analyses of other forms of discrimination, such as for example, religion or disability, says Professor Dr. Jutta Mata. Surprisingly, the greatest effect could be observed when participants remembered actual events or were witnesses when others were discriminated against – and not when participants were discriminated against in the laboratory.

To the full press release