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Describe the effects of discrimination


This page is designed to answer the following questions:

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Discrimination can have several negative effects on the victim, their family, the workplace, the wider community and the perpetrator.


On this page, we will describe the effects of discrimination on each of these groups of people in turn.


Effects of discrimination on the individual

Discrimination can result in individuals feeling worthless, guilty, angry, sad and upset as well as be a cause of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress. It can be a precursor to hatred and conflict that can result in harm, injury and even death. It can also lead to individuals being excluded and social isolation that could result in a loss of self-esteem, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.


Therefore, discrimination can have a negative effect on an individual’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Moreover, this can go further and affect an individual’s social life and work life. For example, they may be distrustful of others and so have difficulty maintaining or forming new relationships. Or they may not have the self-confidence to go to a job interview.

Effects of discrimination on family and friends of the individuals


The family and friends of individuals that have been discriminated against can also be negatively affected by the experience.

They may feel sad, angry, upset, helpless or guilty that their loved one has suffered discrimination, which can have a negative effect on their own well-being.


They may also treat the individual differently (they may become over-protective, for example) which can affect the relationship.

Effects of discrimination in the workplace and society


Discrimination can result in toxic environments and workplaces where there is low morale, trust and confidence. Productivity can be reduced because communication and partnership-working become more strained. Workplaces can lose valuable employees due to discrimination, which can have an impact on their bottom line and the resulting lack of diversity can create a shortage of skills.

Because discrimination can affect an individual’s health, they may be unable to work, which can have a negative effect on the economy as well as put additional strain on the NHS.


Effects of discrimination on perpetrators

Many people that discriminate against others do so because of views they have formed from past experiences and flawed beliefs. They may even have suffered discrimination themselves and feel angry and anguished about it, so whilst discrimination should not be tolerated, it is also important to remain empathetic to the perpetrators.


For individuals that take part in discrimination, it can lead to disciplinary action, contract termination or even prosecution.

Example Question and Answer


For each of the following people/groups of people, describe two different possible effects of discrimination

IndividualThey become angry and upset that they are being treated differently from others.

They lose self-esteem as they are made to feel that they are worthless.

 Their familiesThey feel guilty that they have entrusted the care of their family member to someone that is discriminatory.

They put in a complaint to the service provider.

 Wider societyThis can create a lack of diversity in the workplace

This can place additional strain on the NHS

 Those who discriminateThey may feel ashamed if challenged about their behaviour.

They may lose their job.

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