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Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology

Mental health is not determined solely by individual factors and characteristics of a person; it is also influenced by the social circumstances and the environment one is in (Bostwick, Boyd, Hughes, West, Esteban 2014). Social factors such as race and sexuality may be determinants of mental health outcomes, specifically for minorities. Discrimination such as racism and homophobia have been shown to have detrimental effects on a person (Bostwick et al. 2014). In the minority stress model, discriminatory events or acts of prejudice can act as stressors towards the life of a minority individual, which are added on top of the everyday life stressors that everyone experiences. This excess stress contributes to higher rates of mental health disorders, specifically with racial and sexual minorities, although social support has been shown to buffer the negative effects of identity-based stressors minority, specifically being a racial or ethnic minority and/or a member of a minority sexual orientation, influences and affect’s one mental health and psychological well-being. How does a person’s minority status of race and sexuality affect their mental health outcomes?