The Mediating Role of Internalized Racism in the Relationship Between Racist Experiences and Anxiety Symptoms in a Black American Sample

Jessica R. Graham, Lindsey M. West, Jennifer Martinez, Lizabeth Roemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: The current study explores the potential mediating role of internalized racism in the relationship between racist experiences and anxiety symptomology in a Black American sample. Method: One hundred and 73 Black American participants, between 18 and 62 years of age, completed a questionnaire packet containing measures of anxious arousal and stress symptoms, internalized racism, and experiences of racist events. Results: Results indicated that internalized racism mediated the relationship between past-year frequency of racist events and anxious arousal as well as past-year frequency of racist events and stress symptoms. Conclusions: Internalized racism may be 1 mechanism that underlies the relationship between racism and anxious symptomology for Black Americans. These preliminary findings suggest that internalized racism may be an avenue through which clinicians can target the anxiety elicited by racist experiences. The clinical implications of these findings and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-376
Number of pages8
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016

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Keywords

  • African American
  • Anxiety
  • Black
  • Racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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