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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


GONCALVES, Helen et al. Self-reported discrimination by adolescents in a Brazilian birth cohort: prevalence and associations. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.3, pp.204-210. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence of and factors associated with discrimination self-reported by adolescents. METHODS: Cross-sectional analysis of adolescents belonging to a cohort of live births in 1993 in the city of Pelotas, Brazil. From the 5 249 members of the cohort, information was collected from 4 452 adolescents in 2004 and 2005 regarding self-reported discrimination, sociodemographic variables, physical attributes, and nutritional status. A Poisson regression was utilized in the raw and adjusted analyses to estimate prevalence rates (RP). RESULTS: The global prevalence of self-reported discrimination was 16.4%. In the adjusted analysis, discrimination was reported more by the following groups: girls (RP = 1.27, 95%CI: 1.10-1.48), people identified by others as black (RP = 1.28, 95%CI: 1.04-1.57), poorer adolescents (RP = 1.58, 95%CI: 1.23-2.02), those who perceived themselves to be very thin or very fat (RP = 1.81 and 1.54 respectively), those whose families had financial trouble (RP = 1.76, 95%CI: 1.49-2.08), those who wore glasses (RP = 1.74, 95%CI: 1.45-2.10), those who thought their teeth looked bad (RP = 1.58, 95%CI: 1.21-2.07), those who had been reprimanded in school (RP = 1.23, 95%CI: 1.01- 1.51), and those who had been involved in fights in the past year (RP = 1.62, 95%CI: 1.36-1.94). The association between discrimination and nutritional status varied by sex (interaction P = 0.009). Thin children reported greater discrimination than those who were overweight or obese. Discrimination on the basis of obesity was higher among girls, with this effect more strongly felt among rich girls than among poor ones. CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported discrimination was prevalent and unequally distributed among the population. Actions to reduce experiences of discrimination must be implemented during the initial stages of life.

Keywords : Adolescent; prejudice; interpersonal relations; epidemiology; Brazil.

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