Studying Ethnicity and Behavioral Medicine

A Quantitative Genetic Approach
  • Keith E. Whitfield
  • Toni P. Miles
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)


Nearly 25 years ago, behavior genetics became an unpopular domain of research in response to the paper by Arthur Jensen (1969) that addressed genetic differences between racial groups. There was outrage at the idea that one racial/ethnic group was genetically inferior to another. This research had reverberations in science at two levels. First, doing behavior genetic studies involving people of color was considered taboo or politically incorrect by all but a few researchers [among them Sandra Scarr (e.g., Scan, 1981, 1988; Scan & Weinberg, 1976)]. Second, this research had an effect on scientific studies done on minorities in all fields of inquiry. Scientists avoided studying racial/ethnic groups for fear of showing that minorities did not perform as well as whites on tests designed for whites. This concern over finding deficits in the performance of minorities in cross-cultural studies became a wall that blocked the accumulation of knowledge about minorities.


Behavioral Medicine Minority Population Cardiovascular Reactivity Shared Environmental Effect Sociocultural Influence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith E. Whitfield
    • 1
  • Toni P. Miles
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biobehavioral Health, College of Health and Human DevelopmentPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Special Populations and Health, College of Health and Human DevelopmentPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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