Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Society and Mental Health 2:1 (2012), pp. 53–67; DOI: 10.1177/2156869312441185


Copyright © 2012 American Sociological Association; published by Sage Publications. Used by permission.


A growing body of research has documented associations between discrimination, anger, and delinquency, but the exact nature of these associations remains unclear. Specifically, do aggressive behaviors emerge over time as a consequence of perceived discrimination and anger? Or do adolescents who engage in aggressive behavior perceive that they are being discriminated against and become angry? We use autoregressive cross-lagged path analysis on a sample of 692 Indigenous adolescents (mean age = 12 years) from the Northern Midwest and Canada to answer these research questions. Results showed that the direction of effects went only one way; both perceived discrimination and anger were significantly associated with subsequent aggression. Moreover, early discrimination and anger each had indirect effects on aggressive behavior three years later, and anger partially mediated the association between discrimination and aggression. Perceived discrimination is but one of many strains related to unequal social position that these Indigenous youth experience, and it has important implications for the proliferation of disparities in later life.

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