Colloquia - “Racism and Psychosis: The Role of Social Determinants”

Deidre M. Anglin, Ph.D. Department of Psychology The City College of New York


 While there is a long-documented history of over- and mis-diagnosis of schizophrenia in Black people in the U.S., there is also increasing evidence that racial discrimination and related social determinants may increase risk for psychotic experiences in Black and Latinx populations—experiences that may or may not lead to a clinical psychotic disorder, but that could contribute to misdiagnosis in these populations. This talk will provide a critical overview of the role of racism in the diagnosis of psychosis. In addition, this talk will describe accumulating evidence that demonstrates aspects of the social environment, in large part shaped by systemic racism, are associated with increased vulnerability for psychotic experiences. Examples from a Photovoice study with Black young people with first episode psychosis will be used to illustrate how the social environment and neighborhood can serve as a trigger for vulnerable youth.