Exploring the mental health benefits of participation in an Australian anti-racism intervention

Margaret Kelaher, Angeline S. Ferdinand, Yin Paradies, Deborah Warr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a vast body of research demonstrating the deleterious effects of racism on health. Despite this, there is limited research that considers the health benefits of anti-racism interventions. We assess the mental health effects for young people participating in an anti-racism intervention that was based on the principles of intergroup contact theory and delivered through five projects addressing specific issues and contexts. An evaluation of the intervention used a before-and-after design. The analyses reported here focus on data collected from participants who completed both pre- and post-intervention surveys (n = 246). Analyses examine the characteristics of participants, the environment for intergroup contact (equal status between ethnic groups, shared goals, co-operation and institutional support for intergroup relationships) and basic psychological needs (competence, relatedness and autonomy) as defined by Self-Determination Theory. The results suggest that the projects met the criteria for promoting positive intergroup contact. There was also evidence that participants' involvement in these projects had positive effects on their autonomy, with particular improvements among people with ethnicities other than € Australian'. The findings suggest that anti-racism interventions can have positive mental health effects for participants. These benefits redress some of the individual-level effects of racism experiences by supporting young people to develop confidence and self-esteem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Promotion International
Volume33
Issue number1
Early online dateJul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2018

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