Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Social status-Psychological aspects, African Americans-Mental health services-Evaluation, Psychotherapy-Outcome assessment, Racial hierarchy, Mental health outcomes, Rich nations


This study examined the relationship between racial diversity and mental health outcomes among wealthy nations. It hypothesized that status anxieties would be more pronounced in those countries marked by greater diversity—a measure of social stratification or hierarchy. Lower status as measured by class has been shown in numerous studies to predict mental health outcomes, like risk of depression and psychosis for individuals. On a population level research has also found a relationship between income inequality—the degree of distance between the rich and the poor—and mental health outcomes. Regression analyses of the prevalence of mental illness against racial diversity showed no statistical significance. A supplemental analysis of racial diversity and mental health in the United States found a significant, and reverse, relationship—the higher percentage of blacks in a state, the better the mental health outcomes. The paper suggests that the results of the analysis are likely the result of a limited sample size or a problem of measurement. The apparent paradox of higher minority populations and better mental health outcomes warrants further investigation.




iii, [33] pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references.