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Social Patterning of Racial Discrimination Among a Diverse Sample of School-Aged Children in Australia




Sharif, Mienah
Truong, Mandy
Kavanagh, Anne
Alam, Oishee
Chong, Shiau
Paradies, Yin
Priest, Naomi

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Objective: To examine the prevalence of young childrens’ reported experiences of racial discrimination and to assess whether discriminatory experiences vary by gender, religion and country of birth. Methods: Data came from Speak Out Against Racism (SOAR), a cross-sectional study of 4664 public school students in grades 5–9 in two Australian states in 2017. An adaption of the Adolescent Discrimination Distress Index (ADDI), as a measure of discrimination, was used across four Indigenous and ethnic categories (Indigenous, Asian and non-Asian visible minorities, Anglo/European). Effect-measure modification (EMM) examined how experiences of racial discrimination across ethnic groups varied by gender, country of birth and religion. Results: A sizeable proportion (40%) of students reported experiencing racial discrimination. Indigenous, Asian and non-Asian visible minority students reported higher rates of experiencing racial discrimination than their Anglo-European peers. Male students reported higher rates of experiencing racial discrimination than female students. Foreign-born students reported experiencing racial discrimination more often than native-born students, and both Christian and religious minorities experienced racial discrimination more often than students identifying with the dominant “No religion” group. Conclusions: The findings highlight the prevalence of racial discrimination among adolescents and how gender, country of birth and religion can increase risk of these experiences.



Racism, Disparities, Immigrant health, Adolescents, Intersectionality



Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities


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