The effects of microaggressions on blood pressure in the Latino population

TitleThe effects of microaggressions on blood pressure in the Latino population
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsEstrada, S
Academic DepartmentLatin American Studies, Clinical Psychology
Number of Pages108
UniversityAlliant International University
CitySacremento, CA
Thesis TypeDissertation
ISBN Number9781339870571
KeywordsBlood pressure, Latino population, Microaggressions, Women and Minorities

Racial microaggressions are subtle instances of racism that chronically remind the Latino population of their foreigner status (Derald Wing Sue et al., 2007). Although microaggressions have been found to cause an increase in stress in the Latino population, and chronic stress is one possible precursor to elevated blood pressure, there is a lack of research focusing on how microaggressions and blood pressure relate to each other in the Latino population. The present study examined the relationship between microaggressions, stress and blood pressure in the Latino population using a correlational research design. Eighty-six Latino immigrant participants responded to the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), the Racial Microaggression Scale (RMAS), and had their blood pressure taken. The results suggest that stress increases as microaggressions increase, and blood pressure increases as stress increases. Two of the microaggression scales, Criminality Distress Scale and Foreigner/Not Belonging Distress Scale, were correlated with diastolic blood pressure. This is an important finding which suggests that Latinos who experience distress of microaggressions which make them feel like a foreigner based on their visible ethnic/minority features and those who experience the distress caused by the fear of being perceived to be a criminal tend to have negative effects on their blood pressure. Based on the frequency of the microaggressions that Latinos experience, this could be very detrimental to their health. Additionally, the finding that microaggressions elevated diastolic blood pressure brings in to question if the effects of microaggressions, due to their chronicity, can be more harmful to cardiovascular health than once believed.

Citation Key8832