Racial Categorization and Implications for Multiracial Health Research

Karen Tabb, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Multiracial (two or more races) American health related to racial stability over the life course is a pressing issue in a burgeoning multiethnic and multicultural global society. Most studies on multiracial groups are cross-sectional and thus focus on a single time point, so it is difficult to establish how health indicators change for multiracial groups over time. This paper employs epidemiological methods to investigate a central research question: “How is consistency in racial categories over time related to self-rated health for multiracial young adults in the United States?” I used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 20,774). Using multivariate logistic regression I found that there are differences in report of self-rated health when comparing monoracial adults with multiracial adults who switch racial categories over time. These results demonstrate the importance of critically examining changes in racial categories as related to health status over time.

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Presented in Poster Session 9