258013 Utilizing latent class analysis to explore the intersectionality of multiple forms of discrimination among ethnically diverse youth: Highlighting Racial and Weight Based Discrimination

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Bernice Garnett, MPH, ScD , College of Education and Social Services, University of Vermont, Somerville, MA
Katherine E. Masyn, PhD , Human Development and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
S. Bryn Austin, ScD , Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
Matthew Miller, MD, ScD , Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
David R. Williams, PhD, MPH , Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, African and African American Studies, and Sociology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
K. Viswanath, PhD , Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Background: Discrimination is common among adolescents, but little is known about the intersection of multiple forms of discrimination or whether risk associated with experiencing one form of discrimination is compounded by the co-occurrence of other forms of discrimination. Intersectionality advocates for the simultaneous and multiplicative operationalization of social categories. We used a latent class analysis (LCA) to describe the multi-dimensionality of discrimination among a sample of ethnically diverse high school students. Methods: Using data from the 2006 Boston Youth Survey (BYS), which is a representative sample of 1,223 high school students, we employed LCA to examine the intersection of discrimination based on race/ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation and weight in addition to being bullied and/or assaulted for those attributes. 1,049 (86%) students contributed to the analytic sample (45% Non-Hispanic Black, 28% Hispanic, 57% Female). Results: Almost half of the sample (43%) experienced racial discrimination. The prevalence of discrimination due to: immigration; weight and sexual orientation were 23%, 15% and 7%, respectively. The LCA revealed that a 4-class model most adequately fit the data (LMT-LRT 5 vs. 4 class, p-value 0.12). The 4-classes were categorized as: no discrimination (48%); racial and immigration discrimination with low bullying (32%); sexual orientation and weight discrimination with moderate bullying (10%); racial, sexual orientation and weight discrimination with high bullying (8%). Conclusion: Adolescents experience multiple forms of discrimination simultaneously. Being bullied and/or assaulted was more likely to co-occur when students experienced sexual orientation or weight discrimination. LCA is an optimal method that aligns with the lived experiences of adolescents and intersectionality.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To underscore the utility of intersectionality as an epidemiological framework for health disparities research To illustrate the co-occurrence of multiple forms of discrimination among adolescents To highlight the application of latent class analysis as an innovative analytic method for discrimination research

Keywords: Methodology, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been primarily responsible for conducting all analyses as this is part of my doctoral dissertation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.