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Does Perceived Discrimination Affect Health? Longitudinal Relationships between Work Discrimination and Women's Physical and Emotional Health

Eliza K. Pavalko, Krysia N. Mossakowski and Vanessa J. Hamilton
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 44, No. 1 (Mar., 2003), pp. 18-33
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1519813
Page Count: 16
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Does Perceived Discrimination Affect Health? Longitudinal Relationships between Work Discrimination and Women's Physical and Emotional Health
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Abstract

This study uses longitudinal data to examine the causal relationships between perceived work discrimination and women's physical and emotional health. Using data on 1,778 employed women in the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women, we investigate the structural and individual characteristics that predict later perceptions of discrimination and the effects of those perceptions on subsequent health. We find that perceptions of discrimination are influenced by job attitudes, prior experiences of discrimination, and work contexts, but prior health is not related to later perceptions. However, perceptions of discrimination do impact subsequent health, and these effects remain significant after controlling for prior emotional health, physical health limitations, discrimination, and job characteristics. Overall, the results provide even stronger support for the health impact of workplace discrimination and suggest a need for further longitudinal analyses of causes and consequences of perceived discrimination.

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