Thesis

Intersection of Colorism and Psychotropic Medication

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between skin color and use of prescription medication. Method: Data from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n = 4,876) were analyzed to explore the relationship of interviewer-assessed skin color and reported prescription use. Results: Logistic regression indicated that the odds of a person reporting use of prescription medication is two times higher for someone assessed as having white skin color than for a person assessed as having black skin color. The findings also indicated the dark brown, medium brown, and light brown skin color groups are similar to the black skin color group, as they were not statistically significant in predicting the likelihood of taking prescription medication and adults assessed as having white skin color are more likely than any other group to report use of prescription medication. Discussion: The present study adds to the literature on colorism and explores the complex issues related to skin color. Further research is needed to explain the mechanisms behind the relationships found between skin color and use of prescription medication.

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