Colorism and Physical Health: Evidence from a National Survey

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Abstract

This study uses nationally representative data to extend a steadily growing body of research on the health consequences of skin color by comparatively examining the consequences of perceived ingroup and outgroup skin color discrimination (perceived colorism) for physical health among African Americans. Using a comprehensive set of measures of physical health, I find that perceived ingroup colorism is significantly associated with worse physical health outcomes among African Americans. Notably, the magnitude of ingroup colorism’s associations with most of these outcomes rivals or even exceeds that of major lifetime discrimination, everyday discrimination, and perceived outgroup colorism. These findings compellingly suggest the inclusion of perceived colorism measures in future survey data collection efforts.

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Monk, E. P. (2021). Colorism and Physical Health: Evidence from a National Survey. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 62(1), 37–52. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022146520979645

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