Ethnic and racial harassment and mental health: identifying sources of resilience

Publication type

ISER Working Paper Series

Series Number



ISER Working Paper Series


Publication date

December 2, 2016


In this paper, using data from Understanding Society over the period 2009-2014, we find that ethnic minorities with lower socio-economic status and those who were born in the UK report worse mental health (GHQ). Those who report experiencing ethnic and racial harassment (ERH) also report worse mental health than those who do not. We also found that ethnic minorities living in areas with a higher proportion of co-ethnics reported better mental health. However, ethnic concentration was not protective; rather, ERH had a stronger negative association with mental health for UK born minorities living in such areas. . We identified additional resilience factors: number of close friends and having certain personality traits – higher levels of Openness to Experience and Conscientiousness. We also found those who attend religious services more frequently and have higher levels of Agreebleness and Extraversion are poorly equipped to deal with ethnic and racial harassment.



Is referenced by: Nandi, Alita ; Luthra, Renee Reichl (2016) ‘Written evidence submitted by the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex’. Home Affairs Committee. Hate crime and its violent consequences inquiry, HCR0090. Colchester: University of Essex: Institute for Social and Economic Research.

Paper download  



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest