How Racial Identity and Worry About Discrimination Impact Coping Responses to Racial Discrimination Among Black American Community Members

Rebecca L. Fix, Cristina M. Risco, Spencer T. Fix, Edward M. Bernat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Every year, most Black Americans report experiencing racial discrimination, which has been shown to have a variety of negative consequences. Aspects of racial identity, particularly holding a positive perception of one’s racial group (private regard), may buffer the impact of negative experiences including racial discrimination through differential coping strategy use. The current study (1) examined whether level of private regard impacted the type of coping strategies used across various forms of perceived experiences of racial discrimination and (2) tested for indirect pathways from perceived experiences of racial discrimination to different coping strategy use. Adults (N = 297) from the community who self-identified as Black American/African American completed several questionnaires on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Four-fifths (80%) of participants reported racial discrimination at least once. Racial identity—particularly private regard—was positively associated with active coping strategy use. Furthermore, results from mediation models demonstrated racial identity was an important predictor of coping strategy use, suggesting high private regard has protective effects against racial discrimination. Worry was an especially robust mediator for pathways from racial discrimination to coping strategies. Altogether, results indicate a need for targeted interventions that promote the development of private regard and address worry about racial discrimination among Black American adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-654
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • African American
  • Path analysis
  • Private regard
  • Racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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