Racial identity matters: The relationship between racial discrimination and psychological functioning in african american adolescents

Robert M. Sellers, Nikeea Copeland-Linder, Pamela P. Martin, R. L'Heureux Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examines the interrelationships among racial discrimination, racial identity, and psychological functioning in a sample of 314 African American adolescents. Racial discrimination was associated with lower levels of psychological functioning as measured by perceived stress, depressive symptomatology, and psychological well-being. Although individuals who believe that other groups hold more negative attitudes toward African Americans (low public regard) were at greater risk for experiencing racial discrimination, low public regard beliefs also buffered the impact of racial discrimination on psychological functioning. More positive attitudes about African Americans were also associated with more positive psychological functioning. The results further illustrate the utility of a multidimensional framework for understanding the role of racial identity in the relationship between racial discrimination and psychological outcomes among African American adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-216
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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