New research indicates that believing in a just world can lead to poor health for black Americans

Research on the link between racial discrimination and poor health outcomes is not new. However, until now, there has been little exploration around that link — the why, how, who and when.

Nao Hagiwara, Ph.D.

Nao Hagiwara, Ph.D.

Researchers in Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences explored the “why” in a recent study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine in December. They surveyed 130 black Americans and found evidence that a just world belief — the belief that we live in a world in which people get what they deserve and deserve what they get — has a negative impact on the health of black Americans.

We talked to VCU researcher Nao Hagiwara, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, about the findings and its implications for the health care of black Americans.

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