Coping with racial discrimination: Assessing the vulnerability of African Americans and the mediated moderation of psychosocial resources.

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Byron A. Miller

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Research demonstrates that the mental health of African Americans is negatively affected by discrimination, but few studies have investigated the effects of racial discrimination specifically and whether these effects vary by poverty and education levels. Using a sample of 3,372 African Americans from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), we find a positive relationship between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms, with both lifetime and daily racial discrimination being more salient for depressive symptoms among impoverished African Americans than those living above 200% of the poverty line. Evaluating mediated moderation models, we also find that the conditional effects of socioeconomic status are mediated by poor African Americans’ having fewer psychosocial resources. Namely, lower levels of mastery are influential in accounting for poor African Americans’ greater vulnerability to both daily and lifetime discrimination. The findings highlight the importance of examining specific reasons for discrimination as well as mediated moderation in future research.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.