Skip to main content

How Perceived Racism and Socioeconomic Status Affect Family Health

Tatiana Pryor

Tatiana Pryor’s research, titled “The Effects of Perceived Racism and Socioeconomic Status on Family Health” is an important analysis of the factors that influence health. Her research won 3rd place at the CURA poster competition in November 2021.

Tatiana Pryor won 3rd place at the CURA (College Undergraduate Research Award) poster research competition in November 2021 for her research on how perceived racism and socioeconomic status affect family health. Her research addresses the factors that influence family health and disproves prejudiced ideas about family health.

Pryor was inspired to begin her research in 2020 as the country questioned how to actively fight against racism and prejudice. Pryor hoped that research about how perceived racism and socioeconomic status affect family health could help people understand and appreciate the complexity of family health. She said, “It was really important to me to understand that how a person grows up really can influence their healthy habits in the community they’re in.”

Pryor surveyed 508 couples that were representative of the US adult population and gathered data about their family health, childhood and adult socioeconomic status, perceived racism, couple sexuality, and whether they were in an interracial marriage. Perceived racism was measured with four sub-scales: exclusion at the workplace, violence or threat, discrimination by how one looks, and stigmatization or devaluation.

Importantly, Pryor found that a person’s race or sexuality did not impact their family health status but poverty and discrimination had a huge impact on family health status. Pryor explained, “If someone was not white they felt discrimination at five times the amount than someone who was white.” Pryor also found that “Women’s feelings of racial discrimination or interpretation of their partner’s experiences of discrimination impact family health.”

Pryor said, “Overall, it’s just really important to understand that how a person experiences poverty as a child and how they experience discrimination growing up is what most severely influences family health status.” Pryor explained that if a person experiences discrimination, they are less likely to access resources such as doctor’s visits or insurance, which will negatively impact their family health.

If Pryor could communicate anything to BYU students about her research, it would be that “stereotypes do not determine someone’s health.” Pryor said, “I am genuinely very passionate about this topic because I think it’s so important to understand that the way we treat people can be the decision-maker in someone’s health. It can influence their mental and physical health.”