Major discrimination experiences, education, and genes.

TitleMajor discrimination experiences, education, and genes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDas, A
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
ISSN Number1552-6887
KeywordsDiscrimination, Education, Genetics, Racial/ethnic differences

OBJECTIVES: Rather than acting as a buffer, educational attainment has a known positive linkage with major experiences of lifetime discrimination. Recently established genetic roots of education, then, may also influence such reports. The current study examined these patterns.

METHODS: Data were from the 2010 wave of the Health and Retirement Study. Polygenic scores indexed one's genetic propensity for more education. Mediation analysis was through counterfactual methods.

RESULTS: Among Whites as well as Blacks, genetic antecedents of education also elevated discrimination reports. Part of this influence was channeled through education. At least among Whites, direct effects were also found.

DISCUSSION: Major discrimination experiences seem partly rooted in genes. Mechanisms are tentatively suggested. Direct genetic influences, in particular, indicate potential confounding of previously estimated linkages between discrimination and health or life course factors. Given the range of these prior results, and their implications for healthy aging, investigation of these possibilities is needed.

Citation Key10159
PubMed ID31142169