Study looks at discrimination’s impact on smoking

Smoking, the leading preventable cause of mortality in the United States, continues to disproportionately impact lower income members of racial and ethnic minority groups. In a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, looked at how perceived discrimination influences smoking rates among these groups. “We found that regardless of race or ethnicity, the odds of current smoking were higher among individuals who perceived that they were treated differently because of their race, though racial and ethnic minority groups were more likely to report discrimination,” he says. 

Age, race, debt linked to docs’ board certification

New research shows that the likelihood of a medical school graduate becoming board certified is linked to age at graduation, race and ethnicity, and level of debt. The study, by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, was published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Linguistic profiling: The sound of your voice may determine if you get that apartment or not

Many Americans can guess a caller’s ethnic background from their first hello on the telephone. Can the sound of your voice be used against you?However, the inventor of the term “linguistic profiling” has found that when a voice sounds African-American or Mexican-American, racial discrimination may follow. In studying this phenomenon through hundreds of test phone calls, John Baugh, Ph.D., the Margaret Bush Wilson Professor and director of African and African American Studies in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has found that many people made racist, snap judgments about callers with diverse dialects. Some potential employers, real estate agents, loan officers and service providers did it repeatedly, he says. Long before they could evaluate callers’ abilities, accomplishments, credit rating, work ethic or good works, they blocked callers based solely on linguistics.