Unfair Treatment, Discrimination, and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Black and White Adolescents

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unfair treatment, discrimination, ambulatory blood pressure, racial differences, adolescents, blacks, whites, physical appearance

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The authors tested the hypotheses that unfair treatment and its attribution to race, physical appearance, and peer group were related to elevated ambulatory blood pressure (ABP). During 2 school days, 207 Black and White adolescents wore an ABP monitor and answered questions about mood, posture, location, and activity level at the time of the ABP assessment. At a separate session, in-clinic resting blood pressure and perceptions of unfair treatment were measured. Multilevel mixed models showed that unfair treatment and its attribution to race were not associated with ABP. However, adolescents who indicated that the primary reason for unfair treatment was their physical appearance had elevated ABP. Feeling unfairly treated because of physical appearance may impact blood pressure uniquely during the adolescent transition.

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Health Psychology, v. 24, no. 3, p. 258-265