Stereotypes and racism remain present in our society, and will not be going away any time soon. That being said, it is important to know how different forms of racism and stereotypes affect the mental health of different minorities. Not every minority is discriminated against and stereotyped in the same way, which means that minorities may be affected on a mental level differently. Understanding the different affects that racism and stereotypes have on minority groups is important to the values of well being, equality, and a healthy life style.
For instance, Asians are a good example of how one minority can be affected differently by stereotypes. Lwamoto, Derek, Lejuez, Hamilton, and Grivel state, “Asian American young adults are increasingly becoming an at-risk group for risk behaviors including alcohol-related problems and elicit drug use. Endorsing the positive model minority stereotype” (1). In this study participants included 162 Asian American young adults. These participants then completed a measure of endorsement of the model minority stereotype. Additionally Results found that rates of alcohol related problems, and drug use appears to be higher in the current sample. From a psychological standpoint stereotyping Asians as being the positive model minority meaning they are under pressure to be successful and perfect can cause mental distress. Since Asians are stereotyped in this way it can cause mental problems when they don’t live up to the standards of what everyone thinks, which can then lead them to their engagement in drugs and alcohol.
Native American Indians are another minority that are heavily stereotyped against through the use of mascot imagery. In a dissertation, Fryberg, and Ann note that,
American Indian h...
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...erent stereotypes and racism is no only important to help solve the problem, but it is also important to the values of well being, equality, and a healthy life style. These are values that every individual should hold as well as respect, and care about. But the different minority groups that are affected by racism and stereotypes are not being respected through these values. Instead the mental well being of these different minority groups is being negatively impacted through racism and stereotypes, which can lead to different kinds of mental health problems. Knowing that different groups of people are not being treated fairly through these basic but vital values should encourage people to be more mindful of negative stereotypes and racism, and also should engage people to educate others on how harmful stereotypes and racism can be on ones mental well being.
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