weekly blog--one for the ages
February is Black History month. The precursor to this was created in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week". This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 20, both of which dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.
Within this context, ConfrontingAging wanted to take a look at Aging within the African American community and found the following research study that was published in 2019:
Early life stress from racial discrimination puts African Americans at greater risk for accelerated aging, a marker for premature development of serious health problems and perhaps a shorter life expectancy, according to a 2019 study led by a Georgia State University psychology researcher.
Findings revealed that high discrimination at ages 10–15 was associated with depression at ages 20–29, controlling for depression at ages 10–15, which, in turn, was related to accelerated cellular-level aging after controlling for gender, alcohol consumption, and cigarette use. The indirect effect of racial discrimination on aging through depression at ages 20–29 was significant, accounting for 32.3% of the total variance.
Conclusion: These findings support research conceptualizations that early life stress due to racial discrimination led to sustained negative affective states continuing into young adulthood that confer risk for accelerated aging and possibly premature disease and mortality in African Americans. These findings advance knowledge of potential underlying mechanisms that influence racial health disparities.
Separately, 26 Little Known Black History Facts: 24 Black History Facts You May Not Know (oprahmag.com)
The effect of early discrimination on accelerated aging among African Americans. - PsycNET (apa.org)
The importance of black history and why it should be celebrated beyond February - ABC News (go.com)