People aged 18-28 exposed to consistent discrimination are 25 percent more likely to have mental health issues.

Transitioning to adulthood can be full of challenges. A new study shows that the effects of discrimination can cause severe mental health damage to the already-struggling young adult age group, NBC News reports.

A new study from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that young adults who endure frequent interpersonal discrimination based on race, sex or physical appearance are at greater risk of mental health issues than those who don’t. The authors analyzed data from a 10-year survey and found that people aged 18-28 who experienced consistent short- or long-term discrimination are 25 percent more likely to experience psychological distress, be diagnosed with a mental illness or report excessive drug use.

“It paints a striking picture of how discrimination is very strongly related to mental and behavioral health in young adults. It’s harder to be a young person today than it has been in a long time,” said Dr. Adam Schickedanz, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study’s senior author. “The world is spinning faster, a lot of things are changing constantly and there are a lot of challenges. If we’re more attuned to that … we can do better by young people.”

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