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The American Psychological Association Linked Discrimination To Stress

A survey linked discrimination to higher stress levels and poorer health.

By Samantha Crook | March 10, 2016

An annual survey found American adults are more stressed than they were a couple of years ago.

And according to the American Psychological Association, discrimination plays a big role.

The survey found almost half of U.S. adults experienced a major form of unfair treatment or discrimination, "including being unfairly questioned or threatened by police, being fired or passed over for promotion or treated unfairly when receiving health care."

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In a press statement, APA said: "Certain populations consistently struggle with stress more than others, such as Hispanic adults, who report the highest stress levels on average. Younger generations, women, adults with disabilities, and adults who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender also report higher average stress levels."

APA says just anticipating discrimination — whether it's being treated with less courtesy, receiving inferior service or being threatened or harassed — contributes to a "heightened state of vigilance."

For example, 30 percent of Hispanic and black adults who reported experiencing discrimination at least once a week said they feel like they "have to be very careful about their appearance to get good service or avoid harassment."

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