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Testing an integrated model of racism-related stress among black Americans

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Title: Testing an integrated model of racism-related stress among black Americans
Author(s): Clarke, Alexis M.
Director of Research: Neville, Helen A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Neville, Helen A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Rounds, James; Tynes, Brendesha; Liao, Hsin-ya
Department / Program: Educational Psychology
Discipline: Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): racism-related stress Black Americans coping mental health
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to empirically test an integrated model of racism-related stress that incorporated aspects of two existing models of racism-related stress: the Biopsychosocial Model of Perceived Racism (BMPR; Clark, Anderson, Clark, & Williams, 1999) and the Model of Racism-related Stress and Well-being (MRSW; Harrell, 2000). Specifically, this study examined the influence of antecedent variables (i.e., gender, age, SES, and racial composition) and racial socialization on racism-related stress and the subsequent influence this stress had on health outcomes (i.e., psychological distress and anger). The study also explored if cultural and race variables (i.e., cultural coping and racial attitudes) moderated this relation among Black Americans. A community sample of 185 self-identified Black Americans completed a paper-and-pencil survey. Findings provided partial support for the integrated model. Specifically, contextual factors were related to racism-related stress and the relation between racism-related stress and psychological outcomes was moderated by cultural coping, although not in the expected direction. Specifically, men, individuals in neighborhoods with fewer Black residents, and individuals who received messages about race and racism (i.e., racial socialization) reported greater levels of racism-related stress. Additionally, collective coping was a moderator between racism-related stress and psychological distress. Although, on average, the use of greater collective coping was related to increased psychological distress, it appears that the level of racism-related stress individuals reported mattered in understanding this relation. For participants who reported fewer experiences with racism-related stress incidents and who reported lower levels of collectivistic coping showed the lowest levels of psychological distress. For those who reported both greater experiences with racism-related stress, there were no real differences between high or low collective coping efforts. Ritual coping also moderated the relation between racism-related stress and psychological outcomes (i.e., psychological distress and anger), such that individuals who reported higher levels of racism-related stress and used greater ritual coping strategies to deal with the stress were more likely to report greater levels of psychological distress and anger. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Issue Date: 2011-01-14
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/18334
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Alexis M. Clarke
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-01-14
Date Deposited: December 2
 

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