Marginalized identities, discrimination burden, and mental health: Empirical exploration of an interpersonal-level approach to modeling intersectionality
Intersectionality is a term used to describe the intersecting effects of race, class, gender, and other marginalizing characteristics that contribute to social identity and affect health. Adverse health effects are thought to occur via social processes including discrimination and structural inequalities (i.e., reduced opportunities for education and income). Although intersectionality has been well-described conceptually, approaches to modeling it in quantitative studies of health outcomes are still emerging. Strategies to date have focused on modeling demographic characteristics as proxies for structural inequality. Our objective was to extend these methodological efforts by modeling intersectionality across three levels: structural, contextual, and interpersonal, consistent with a social–ecological framework. We conducted a secondary analysis of a database that included two components of a widely used survey instrument, the Everyday Discrimination Scale. We operationalized a meso- or interpersonal-level of intersectionality using two variables, the frequency score of discrimination experiences and the sum of characteristics listed as reasons for these (i.e., the person's race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, disability or pregnancy status, or physical appearance). We controlled for two structural inequality factors (low education, poverty) and three contextual factors (high crime neighborhood, racial minority status, and trauma exposures). The outcome variables we modeled were posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and a quality of life index score. We used data from 619 women who completed the Everyday Discrimination Scale for a perinatal study in the U.S. state of Michigan. Statistical results indicated that the two interpersonal-level variables (i.e., number of marginalized identities, frequency of discrimination) explained 15% of variance in posttraumatic stress symptoms and 13% of variance in quality of life scores, improving the predictive value of the models over those using structural inequality and contextual factors alone. This study's results point to instrument development ideas to improve the statistical modeling of intersectionality in health and social science research.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 12 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Warner, David F. & Brown, Tyson H., 2011. "Understanding how race/ethnicity and gender define age-trajectories of disability: An intersectionality approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(8), pages 1236-1248, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:12:p:2437-2445. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.