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Ethnic/Racial Influences in Families

  • By: Julia Muennich Cowell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Race refers to a group into which a population is divided on the basis of physical characteristics such as skin color. Ethnicity refers to family origin or culture. People of an ethnic group can share a national, linguistic, or religious heritage. Data from the U.S. Census is self-reported with citizens identifying with one of the racial or ethnic categories listed. Although many studies describe the prevalence of family health problems by racial and ethnic group, the interaction among the predictors of health problems dilutes the unique contribution of race and ethnicity. For example, multiple studies find that ethnic minority parents report higher scores on reports of child behavior problems than their non-Hispanic white peers, yet the findings are difficult to interpret because the ethnic minority ...

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