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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Analyzes Link between Race and Stress

Dr. Henna Budhwani, assistant professor in the department of health organization and policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was published in The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society, which represents the most authoritative resource covering concepts, theories, and substantive topics relating to the study of health in our globalized, twenty-first century world. Dr. Budhwani was invited to contribute on two topics, one of which was on the subject of “Race and Stress.”

HBudhwani _UAB_ASPPH

[Photo: Dr. Henna Budhwani]

In Dr. Budhwani’s work, she states that “Although race emerges from genetics and biology, it is a label. The beliefs and stereotypes associated with different races are socially constructed; therefore, they have implications for the perceptions groups have of one another and for outcomes, such as stress, which may manifest as repercussions from these perceptions.” Additionally, racial minorities typically have less social support, less social capital, more exposure to individual and institutional discrimination (as compared to non-racial minorities) translating to greater levels of stress and subsequently poorer health, such as worse birth outcomes and higher rates of hypertension and heart disease.