Understanding the Link Between Multiple Oppressions and Depression Among African American Women

The Role of Internalization

Erika R. Carr, Dawn M. Szymanski, Farah Taha, Lindsey Michelle West, Nadine J. Kaslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of our study was to examine the multiple oppression experiences of sexual objectification, racism, and gendered racism as predictors of depressive symptoms among a clinical sample of low-income African American women. In addition, we examined coping with oppression via internalization (i.e., the tendency to attribute responsibility or the cause of an oppressive event to oneself) as a mediator between these three intersecting forms of oppression and depressive symptoms. Participants included 144 African American women who sought some type of mental health treatment at a U.S. southeastern, public, urban, university-affiliated hospital that attends to a primarily indigent and underserved population. The results of our mediational analysis using bootstrapping provided support for a theorized model in which coping with oppressive events via internalization mediated the links between sexual objectification and depression and between racist events and depression but not between gendered racism and depression. In addition, a unique and direct effect of racist events on depression was found. Finally, the four variables in the model accounted for 42% of variance in depression scores. The study includes implications for future research and clinical work such as exploration of other mediators and the importance of comprehensive intake assessments and multicultural/feminist coping interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-245
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

internalization
oppression
African Americans
Depression
Racism
racism
coping
objectification
event
low income
Vulnerable Populations
Poverty
mental health
American
Internalization
African American Women
Oppression
responsibility
Mental Health
cause

Keywords

  • coping behaviors
  • depression
  • objectification
  • racism
  • sexism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Understanding the Link Between Multiple Oppressions and Depression Among African American Women : The Role of Internalization. / Carr, Erika R.; Szymanski, Dawn M.; Taha, Farah; West, Lindsey Michelle; Kaslow, Nadine J.

In: Psychology of Women Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 2, 01.01.2014, p. 233-245.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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