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Peeling Racism: Measuring Perceived, Experienced, and Internalized Stigma and Its Implications for Health

Raquel Vazquez, MPH, HRPC, University Of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, 850 W Jackson Blvd, Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60612, 312-413-9842, rvazqu6@uic.edu, Jesus Ramirez-Valles, PhD, MPH, Community Health Sciences, University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health, m/c 923, 1603 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60612-4394, and Rafael M. Diaz, PhD, MSW, Cesar E. Chavez Institute, San Francisco State University, 3004 16th Street, suite 301, San Francisco, CA 94103.

Racism significantly affects mental and physical health outcomes including HIV/AIDS and substance use. However, differences among perceived, experienced, and internalized racial stigma have not been previously disentangled. The aims of this study were to: 1) explore the role of racial stigma in the lives of Latino gay men 2) develop measures to test this stigma. Three facets of racial stigma were developed based on qualitative life history data; perceived (15 items), experienced (22 items), and internalized (15 items). These scales were tested in English and Spanish using Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing among 200 Latino gay men (100 in Chicago; 100 in San Francisco). Analysis of the data confirmed the existence of these three aspects of stigma. These three components were refined in the following way: perceived (11 items; alpha=. 88), experienced (21 items; alpha=. 92), and internalized (12 items; alpha=. 81). Further, perceived racial stigma was associated with acculturation (.18; <. 05) and self-esteem (-.18; <. 05); experienced was correlated with self-esteem (.20; <. 05), but not acculturation (-.15; ns). Internalized race stigma was not associated with acculturation (.04; ns) and self-esteem (-.09; ns). None of the three aspects of racial stigma were associated with place of birth (born in the U.S. versus Latin American countries). Our findings support these three aspects of stigma. This measure of racism and its components can be used to further understand how racism impacts health.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the session, the participant will be able to

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Difference and Inequality: Mobilizing for Change

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA