New Evidence of Skin Color Bias and Health Outcomes Using Sibling Difference Models: A Research Note

Thomas Laidley, Benjamin Domingue, Piyapat Sinsub, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Dalton Conley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this research note, we use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to determine whether darker skin tone predicts hypertension among siblings using a family fixed-effects analytic strategy. We find that even after we account for common family background and home environment, body mass index, age, sex, and outdoor activity, darker skin color significantly predicts hypertension incidence among siblings. In a supplementary analysis using newly released genetic data from Add Health, we find no evidence that our results are biased by genetic pleiotropy, whereby differences in alleles among siblings relate to coloration and directly to cardiovascular health simultaneously. These results add to the extant evidence on color biases that are distinct from those based on race alone and that will likely only heighten in importance in an increasingly multiracial environment as categorization becomes more complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-762
Number of pages10
JournalDemography
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography

Keywords

  • Colorism
  • Discrimination
  • Public health
  • Skin color
  • Stratification

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