To understand the influence of economic, social and health factors affecting African Americans, Penn State researchers have designed an index labeled ‘Living While Black’//.
Dr. Shaun Gabbidon, associate professor of criminal justice, and Dr. Steven Peterson, professor of politics and public policy, both at Penn State's Harrisburg campus, made these findings available in the September issue of the Journal of Black Studies.
"There are many previous studies on the impact of health, economic, sociological and criminological factors separately," said Gabbidon. "But this study tries to determine whether being Black in America exacts a 'social cost' by being exposed to several stressors that can severely affect the quality of life among Black Americans."
The Penn State researchers constructed a Living While Black index that includes state-level comparisons of Black poverty rates, the number of Black prisoners, the lack of access to health care, homicide rate, infant mortality rate, business earnings of African American-owned firms, and the percentage of non-elderly who are uninsured.
A Quality-of-Life index was also developed: including chronic drinking problem data by state, mental health problems, suicide rate, and shorter life spans.
Using the two indexes, the researchers found that the Blacks' quality of life was negatively affected by the economic factors (Black-owned businesses' sales and the poverty rate) and by death factors (the infant death rate and the homicide rate). But their research also reported that religiosity served as a buffer and reduced the impact of the stressors.
For African American businesses, we may need to study further the relationship between difficulty in business ownership and life stresses such as drinking and mental health problems. It could be that these outcomes are the products of the difficulties of obtaining funds to run their businesses effectively. Such relatioPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
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