Exploring the Relationships of Perceived Discrimination, Anger, and Aggression among North American Indigenous Adolescents

Kelley J.Sittner Hartshorn, Les B. Whitbeck, Dan R. Hoyt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

A growing body of research has documented associations between discrimination, anger, and delinquency, but the exact nature of these associations remains unclear. Specifically, do aggressive behaviors emerge over time as a consequence of perceived discrimination and anger? Or do adolescents who engage in aggressive behavior perceive that they are being discriminated against and become angry? We use autoregressive cross-lagged path analysis on a sample of 692 Indigenous adolescents (mean age = 12 years) from the Northern Midwest and Canada to answer these research questions. Results showed that the direction of effects went only one way; both perceived discrimination and anger were significantly associated with subsequent aggression. Moreover, early discrimination and anger each had indirect effects on aggressive behavior three years later, and anger partially mediated the association between discrimination and aggression. Perceived discrimination is but one of many strains related to unequal social position that these Indigenous youth experience, and it has important implications for the proliferation of disparities in later life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-67
Number of pages15
JournalSociety and Mental Health
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • juvenile delinquency
  • perceived discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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