People from racial and ethnic minoritized backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic despite being more likely to engage in health and safety precautions than their White counterparts, according to a new study by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Yale University, and McGill University.
The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found that children in non-White families had decreased access to resources and increased financial worry but were more likely to have parent–child discussions regarding COVID-19–associated health and prevention issues, like handwashing, conserving food, protecting older individuals, and isolating from others.
“What we were able to find is that people who come from racial and ethnic minoritized backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and, despite what people may think, they have indeed engaged in practices to take care of themselves, like handwashing and other behaviors,” says lead study author Ayana Jordan MD, PhD, the Barbara Wilson Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, Pillar Lead for Community Engagement in NYU Langone’s Institute for Excellence in Health Equity, and associate professor in the Department of Population Health.
“We as a country can’t continue to push individual-level behavioral change or policy change. We need to target community-level interventions that can mitigate the damage of the pandemic,” Dr. Jordan tells Medical Xpress.
Universal child care, increased access to school meals, universal basic income to cover fundamental needs, and continued unemployment assistance could be effective in either preventing or combatting negative COVID-19 experiences across multiple generations within a single family, the authors write.
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