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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Harvard: Pervasive Discrimination Experienced by Minority Groups in U.S.

In a series of articles, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers indicate that adults in several minority groups face discrimination in many aspects of their lives.

In the midst of national debates on the extent of discrimination in the lives of Americans, a series of new national surveys led by researchers from Harvard Chan School finds that several groups — including blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, women, and LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning) adults — report facing significant discrimination across multiple areas of life, ranging from health care and microaggressions to housing and policing.

Individual research papers were included as part of a larger survey study conducted by Harvard Chan School, National Public Radio (NPR), and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They were published as a research collection in the December special issue of Health Services Research, “Experiences of Discrimination in America: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality.”

“The public has been divided in recent years over whether discrimination is a major problem in America today, and these articles show they are very problematic from the lived experiences of adults from several minority groups,” said principal investigator and co-author Dr. Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard Chan School and director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program. “We know from other research that discrimination has harmful effects on health and well-being, and these studies document ongoing broad patterns of discrimination against adults from marginalized communities.”

The researchers analyzed survey data among subgroups of 3,453 U.S. adults, collected by phone between January and April 2017.

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