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Title: Students of Color Show Health Advantages when they Attend Schools that Emphasize the Value of Diversity
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), March 26, 2019
Abstract: "As the United States becomes more diverse, the ways in which mainstream institutions recognize and address race and ethnicity will be increasingly important. Here, we show that one novel and salient characteristic of an institutional environment, that is, whether a school emphasizes the value of racial and ethnic diversity, predicts better cardiometabolic health among adolescents of color. Using a diverse sample of adolescents who attend more than 100 different schools in predominantly urban locations, we find that when schools emphasize the value of diversity (operationalized as mentioning diversity in their mission statements), students of color, but not white students, have lower values on a composite of five biomarkers of inflammation, have less insulin resistance and compensatory β-cell activity, and have fewer metabolic syndrome signs and score lower on a continuous metabolic syndrome composite. These results suggest that institutions that emphasize diversity may play an unacknowledged role in protecting the health of people of color and, thus, may be a site for future interventions to reduce health disparities."
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The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.