Coping with racism

What works and doesn't work for Black women?

Lindsey Michelle West, Roxanne A. Donovan, Lizabeth Roemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Perceived racial discrimination (PRD) has deleterious effects on Black Americans. However, there is minimal empirical research on the influence of gender and coping on the relationship between PRD and mental health. This study posited that coping style (i.e., problem-focused coping and avoidant coping) would moderate the relationship between PRD and depressive symptoms in Black women. The sample included 91 Black women (mean age of 23.32 years) from an urban New England university. The Schedule of Racist Events, the Coping Orientations to Problems Experienced scale, and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale were used to measure PRD, coping style, and depressive symptoms, respectively. Multiple regressions showed that problem-focused and avoidant coping significantly moderated the relationship between lifetime PRD and depressive symptoms. In addition, avoidant coping significantly moderated the relationship between recent PRD and depressive symptoms. The directions of these findings indicate that higher levels of problem-focused coping may buffer the effects of PRD on depressive symptoms, and higher levels of avoidant coping may exacerbate the effects. Implications for Black women's resiliency and susceptibility to mental health distress are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-349
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 9 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Racism
racism
coping
Depression
Mental Health
New England
Empirical Research
mental health
Appointments and Schedules
Buffers
Anxiety
empirical research
anxiety

Keywords

  • African American
  • Black women
  • Coping
  • Depression
  • Perceived racial discrimination
  • Racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

Coping with racism : What works and doesn't work for Black women? / West, Lindsey Michelle; Donovan, Roxanne A.; Roemer, Lizabeth.

In: Journal of Black Psychology, Vol. 36, No. 3, 09.07.2010, p. 331-349.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

West, Lindsey Michelle ; Donovan, Roxanne A. ; Roemer, Lizabeth. / Coping with racism : What works and doesn't work for Black women?. In: Journal of Black Psychology. 2010 ; Vol. 36, No. 3. pp. 331-349.
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