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Perceived discrimination and psychological distress in nine countries of the former Soviet Union
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, SCOHOST (Stockholm Centre for Health and Social Change). National Institute of Mental Health, Tokyo, Japan.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1260-2223
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8458-8723
Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain / 5Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), Madrid, Spain.
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, SCOHOST (Stockholm Centre for Health and Social Change). National Institute for Health Development, Tallinn, Estonia.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4453-4760
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2019 (English)In: International Journal of Social Psychiatry, ISSN 0020-7640, E-ISSN 1741-2854, Vol. 55, no 2, p. 158-168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND:: Perceived discrimination has been linked to worse mental health. However, little is known about this association in the countries of the former Soviet Union (fSU).

AIM:: To address this deficit, this study examined the link between perceived discrimination and psychological distress in nine fSU countries.

METHODS:: Data were analyzed from 18,000 adults aged ⩾18 years obtained during the Health in Times of Transition (HITT) survey undertaken in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine in 2010 and 2011. A single-item measure was used to assess discrimination. Psychological distress was measured with a 12-item scale. Logistic regression analysis and meta-analysis were used to examine associations.

RESULTS:: After adjusting for all potential confounders, when using none/little discrimination as the reference category, moderate and strong discrimination were associated with significantly increased odds for psychological distress in the total population and in men and women separately with odds ratios ranging from 1.93 to 2.64. Meta-analysis based on country-wise estimates showed that the level of between-country heterogeneity was negligible.

CONCLUSION:: Perceived discrimination is associated with psychological distress in countries throughout the fSU. Quantitative and qualitative research is now warranted to determine its specific forms and impact on population health in individual fSU countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 55, no 2, p. 158-168
Keywords [en]
Discrimination, Eastern Europe, epidemiology, mental health
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-37766DOI: 10.1177/0020764019827982ISI: 000461225700010PubMedID: 30755059Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85061717078OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-37766DiVA, id: diva2:1291983
Available from: 2019-02-26 Created: 2019-02-26 Last updated: 2019-11-06Bibliographically approved

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Stickley, AndrewLeinsalu, Mall

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