UCLA'S ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN NEWSMAGAZINE

Higher risk perception amongst ethnic minorities

In NEWSPRINT on February 2, 2009 at 1:25 am

Last quarter Pacific Ties published “No English, No Help,” which reported that many immigrants are not adequately prepared to respond to natural disasters, mainly because they are not sufficiently fluent in English. Consequently, they suffer a worse fate in the aftermath of such disasters.

In a similar vein, a recent study by UCLA researchers found that ethnic minorities and other groups perceive the threat of terrorism to be higher than it actually is, which ultimately affects their lifestyles in a negative way.

Among these vulnerable individuals include the mentally ill, the disabled, African Americans, Latinos, Chinese Americans, Korean Americans and non-U.S. citizens.

One explanation for these groups’ higher risk perception is their perceived lack of control over any particular situation. “These results are consistent with findings of lower risk perceptions among politically conservative White males, who feel greater control over their environment and greater trust in the institutions protecting them,” the study reports.

However, a large number of these minorities have been in adverse circumstances for so long that they feel compelled to stay constantly on their guard. It’s deplorable how these people must be held prisoners of their own fears for this reason, so it is our responsibility to start thinking about what we can do to free them.

– posted by Emily Ho

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