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The Effect Of Racism On The Self Esteem Of African Americans And The Health Risks Associated With Racism

962 words - 4 pages

Throughout the past, scientists have attempted to explain the health disparity between African Americans and Whites. With the completion of the human genome project, it was shown that there is very little difference between different races on the genetic level. However, “African Americans are twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease as their European counterpart,” the question that has arisen is where do these differences stem from (Harell, Floyd, Daniels and Bell). Recently, scientists have begun to believe that racism could possibly explain these differences (Belgrave &Allison, 2010).

Racism has been an issue for African Americans since the early days of slavery. Everywhere they go, they face a possibility of being treated differently because of their race. Within the past fifty years, the racism that African Americans faced has dropped, however it is still prevalent. According to Belgrave and Allison, racism is defined as “the negative beliefs, actions, and emotions based on race” although there are different types of racism, this definition gives a generalization on what racism is. It seems as though racism is the cause of many of the health problems that are faced by African Americans. Whether it is because African Americans generally do not receive the same health service as Whites or because direct racism causes higher blood pressure, racism has a negative health effect on African Americans (Belgrave &Allison, 2010).

Purpose
The purpose of this experiment is to see whether racism has an effect on the self-esteem of African Americans and the health risks associated with racism, mainly high blood pressure. The independent variable is perception of racism and the dependent variables are the self-esteem and blood pressure of African Americans. The hypothesis for this study is that African Americans who perceive a higher incident of racism will have lower self-esteem and higher blood pressure than those who perceive lower incidents of racism.

Participants
For this study, two hundred African American students will be surveyed. They will be randomly sorted into three groups One quarter will watch a racist interaction between an African American and a White person, One quarter will watch a neutral interaction, and the last quarter will watch a positive interaction. The control group will be the group who viewed the neutral interaction. These groups are valid because the control group is not viewing any incidents of racism, which gives a basis to measure the other groups. The incentive for this study is that the students will receive some sort of academic repercussion. The students will give their informed consent to participate in this study and they will be allowed to back out at any time. All ethical guidelines will be followed.

Materials
Heart rate levels will be recorded when the participants view the interaction between the African American and White person by using a hand grip heart monitor. ...

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