Home > Events & News > Brown Bag Schedule . Archive

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Geronimus: Stress makes black women 7.5 years older in biological age than white counterparts

Frey rethinks trends in Millennial mass urganization

Shaefer on new UN report about America's failing safety net

More News


Seefeldt promoted to associate professor of social work, associate professor of public policy

Martha Bailey elected to the Board of Officers of the Society of Labor Economists

Charlie Brown elected to the Board of Officers of the Society of Labor Economists

Former PSC trainee Patrick Kline wins SOLE's Sherwin Rosen Prize for "Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Labor Economics"

More Highlights

Next Brown Bag

More PSC brown bags, Fall 2018

story art

Hicken studies how discrimination and vigilance differentially impact black and white women

a PSC In The News reference

"Daily onslaught of ‘vigilance’ affects health of black women" - Michigan Chronicle. 02/27/2018.

Using data from the Chicago Community Adult Health Study, Margaret Hicken and colleagues studied the levels of discrimination and vigilance among black and white women, and how those measures correlated to body mass index and waist circumference. Hicken explains that discrimination entails day-to-day instances of prejudice whereas vigilance is a never-ending, daily anticipation of discrimination or prejudice. Pscyhosocial stress can cause both overeating and metabolic changes that lead to weight gain. In turn, a high WC is a significant risk factor for chronic diseases such as CVD and diabetes.

They found that black women had higher levels of vigilance and discrimination and higher mean BMI and WC. They also found that vigilance (but not discrimination) was related to WC for black women and that discrimination (but not vigilance) was related to WC for white women. These results suggest that vigilant coping style may be an important marker of racism-related stress for black women, with a health harmful link to body weight.

Related journal article


Margaret Hicken

More Media Coverage:

YouTube. Racism's Effect on Health [video]. 2/26/2018.

Michigan News. The weight of racism: Daily onslaught of 'vigilance' affects health of black women. 2/27/2018.

View News Archive