Structural Racism and Health Stratification: Connecting Theory to Measurement.

TitleStructural Racism and Health Stratification: Connecting Theory to Measurement.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsBrown, TH, Homan, P
JournalJournal of Health and Social Behavior
ISSN Number2150-6000
KeywordsBlack or African American, Health Status Disparities, Humans, systemic racism, White

Less than 1% of studies on racialized health inequities have empirically examined their root cause: structural racism. Moreover, there has been a disconnect between the conceptualization and measurement of structural racism. This study advances the field by (1) distilling central tenets of theories of structural racism to inform measurement approaches, (2) conceptualizing U.S. states as racializing institutional actors shaping health, (3) developing a novel latent measure of structural racism in states, (4) using multilevel models to quantify the association between structural racism and five individual-level health outcomes among respondents from the Health and Retirement Study (N = 9,020) and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (N = 308,029), and (5) making our measure of structural racism publicly available to catalyze research. Results show that structural racism is consistently associated with worse health for Black people but not White people. We conclude by highlighting this study's contributions (theoretical, methodological, and substantive) and important avenues for future research on the topic.

Citation Key13775
PubMed ID38308499