Date of Award

8-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Sociology

Advisor

Luo, Ye

Committee Member

Wentworth , William

Committee Member

Rieck , Jim

Abstract

This study examines several questions about discrimination using a longitudinal survey from the 2006 and 2008 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Results show that whites are least likely to experience discrimination as we expected. In addition, the data provides support for the hypothesis that people with higher total household assets and higher household total number of members are less likely to experience discrimination. However, contrary to my hypothesis, females have smaller odds of experiencing discrimination compared to males. People with higher education levels are more likely to report major discrimination events compared to those with lower education levels. There is a negative relationship between everyday discrimination and individuals' change in health, but the relationship between major discrimination events and individuals' change in health is not significant. Therefore, the hypothesis that perceived discrimination is linked to adverse change in health is partially supported. Moreover, the buffering effect of social support in the relationship between perceived discrimination and change in health is not supported, and the hypothesis that detrimental effect of discrimination is stronger to men than women is partially supported.

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