Exploring relationships between racism, housing and child illness in remote indigenous communities

Naomi Priest, Yin Paradies, Matthew Stevens, Ross Stewart Bailie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Although racism is increasingly acknowledged as a determinant of health, few studies have examined the relationship between racism, housing and child health outcomes.

Methods: Cross-sectional data from the Housing Improvement and Child Health study collected in ten remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Australia were analysed using hierarchical logistic regression. Carer and householder self-reported racism was measured using a single item and child illness was measured using a carer report of common childhood illnesses. A range of confounders, moderators and mediators were considered, including socio-demographic and household composition, psychosocial measures for carers and householders, community environment, and health-related behaviour and hygienic state of environment.

Results: Carer self-reported racism was significantly associated with child illness in this sample after adjusting for confounders (OR 1.65; 95% CI 1.09 to 2.48). Carer negative affect balance was identified as a significant mediator of this relationship. Householder self-reported racism was marginally significantly associated with child illness in this sample after adjusting for confounders (OR 1.43; 95% CI 0.94 to 2.18, p=0.09). Householder selfreported drug use was identified as a significant mediator of this relationship.

Conclusions: Consistent with evidence from adult populations and children from other ethnic minorities, this study found that vicarious racism is associated with poor health outcomes among an indigenous child population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-447
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Volume66
Issue number5
Early online date2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

    Fingerprint

Cite this