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Abstract

Racism is widely regarded as a fundamental driver of health inequities. There is no standardized way of measuring racism in previous research and most previous measures of racism are limited to the interpersonal level, particularly perceptions of unfair treatment observed by individuals. Another major research gap is the deficit of investigations into structural and cultural racism, a deficit that stands in sharp contrast to the oversaturation of studies on individual experiences and attitudes about racism. Furthermore, discerning instances of racism is difficult because contemporary racism is often more subtle and ambiguous than in the past. The goal of this paper is to describe notable advancements in the measurement of racism as well as understanding the effects of racism on health. These advancements were presented during the inaugural Collaboration on Race, Inequality, & Social Mobility in America (CRISMA) conference at Washington University in St. Louis in March 2019. This paper focuses on the measurement of vigilance, described as anticipatory stress, efforts to mitigate racism, and rumination of past experiences of racism and accounting for the effects of vigilance on health.

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