Key Research

Online Racism and Mental Health Among Black American Adolescents in 2020

Key Takeaways:

  • Black youths experienced increases in online racial discrimination, and these increases were not fully explained by time spent online or by general cybervictimization experiences.
  • Black youths who experienced online racial discrimination reported poorer same-day and next-day mental health.
  • Programs should be implemented to decrease online hate crimes, and health providers (eg, pediatricians, psychiatrists) should develop procedures that mitigate the negative mental health effects following online racial discrimination experiences.

 

LiveMore ScreenLess’ Summary

Determining whether rates of online racial discrimination changed over the course of 2020, and if this affected  Black youths’ mental health longitudinally, were the goals of the study.

Black youths experienced increases in online racial discrimination, and these increases were not fully explained by time spent online or by general cybervictimization experiences. The present study examined whether the rate of online racial discrimination changed over the course of the racial unrest in the United States from March to November 2020. Using a national sample, it was found that Black adolescents reported increases in online racial discrimination during this time. 

Online racial discrimination predicted poorer same-day and next-day mental health among Black youths but not among White youths. The researchers used the White youth sample for descriptive and comparison purposes. Black youths’ mental health before the study did not predict their online racial discrimination experiences.

Juan Del Toro, Ming-Te Wang. Online Racism and Mental Health Among Black American Adolescents in 2020. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Volume 62, Issue 1, 2023,Pages 25-36.e8.

Topics: Equity , Racial Discrimination

Year: 2023 (published)

Participants:  602 Black and White adolescents

Data Collection: 18,454 daily assessments across 58 days during the heightened racial tensions between March and November 2020