Examining Racial Discrimination Frequency, Racial Discrimination Stress, and Psychological Well-Being Among Black Early Adolescents

Yzette Lanier, Marilyn S. Sommers, Jason Fletcher, Madeline Y. Sutton, Debra D. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Racial discrimination is a ubiquitous experience for Black adolescents; it has been linked to poorer psychological outcomes including higher depressive symptoms and lower self-esteem. However, the mechanisms through which racial discrimination is associated with psychological well-being are still not well understood, particularly among Black early adolescents. The current study investigated two dimensions of racial discrimination: racial discrimination frequency (RDfreq) and racial discrimination stress (RDstress). Specifically, we explored the prevalence of RDfreq and RDstress among Black youth and whether RDstress mediated the association between RDfreq and psychological well-being. Seventy-four Black middle school students (68.1% female; mean age = 12.1) completed self-report questionnaires assessing RDfreq, RDstress, depression, and self-esteem; 72 were included in the final analyses. Mediation analyses were conducted using bootstrapping. Ninety percent of the sample reported experiencing some type of racial discrimination and 99% reported that these experiences bothered them. Controlling for age, gender, and ethnicity, RDstress partially mediated the relationship between RDfreq and depression. Study findings elucidate one pathway in which racial discrimination influences psychological well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Keywords

  • Blacks
  • early adolescents
  • psychological well-being
  • racial discrimination frequency
  • racial discrimination stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology

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