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1.  Coping with Racial Discrimination: Assessing the Vulnerability of African Americans and the Mediated Moderation of Psychosocial Resources  
Society and mental health  2013;3(2):133-150.
Research demonstrates that the mental health of African Americans is negatively affected by discrimination, but few studies have investigated the effects of racial discrimination specifically and whether these effects vary by poverty and education levels. Using a sample of 3,372 African Americans from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), we find a positive relationship between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms, with both lifetime and daily racial discrimination being more salient for depressive symptoms among impoverished African Americans than those living above 200% of the poverty line. Evaluating mediated moderation models, we also find that the conditional effects of socioeconomic status are mediated by poor African Americans’ having fewer psychosocial resources. Namely, lower levels of mastery are influential in accounting for poor African Americans’ greater vulnerability to both daily and lifetime discrimination. The findings highlight the importance of examining specific reasons for discrimination as well as mediated moderation in future research.
PMCID: PMC4236835  PMID: 25419483
socioeconomic status; discrimination; depressive symptoms; mastery; social support
2.  Body Image, Acculturation, and Substance Abuse Among Boys and Girls in the Southwest 
This study explored body image as measured by perceptions of weight and appearance and its impact on adolescent drug use among predominately Mexican American middle school students in the southwest. Outcomes analyzed included lifetime and recent alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use and antidrug norms. Disliking one’s looks was more of a risk factor for boys, whereas negative weight perceptions were more of a risk factor for girls. Relative to more acculturated (English-dominant) Latinos (N=903), non-Latino Whites (N=121), and other non-Latino youth (N=107), less acculturated (Spanish-dominant) Latino youth (N=212) reported the poorest body image. However, more acculturated Latino youth with poor body image had the greatest risk of substance use. More acculturated Latino boys who disliked their looks reported relatively greater amounts of recent alcohol use, and those who rated their bodies as too thin reported higher lifetime cigarette use, a greater amount and frequency of recent cigarette use, and weaker antidrug norms. More acculturated Latina girls who thought they were too fat reported a greater amount and frequency of recent cigarette use. These findings suggest that low levels of acculturation may protect some Latino youth with poor body image from coping via substance use. In addition, they suggest that poor body image among some Latinos may result less from adoption of American thinness ideals but rather from attitudes and behaviors that devalue the characteristics of Latino appearance.
PMCID: PMC3043457  PMID: 16320438
Body image; acculturation; substance abuse
3.  Discriminatory Experiences and Depressive Symptoms among African American Women: Do Skin Tone and Mastery Matter? 
Sex roles  2010;62(1-2):48-59.
We apply structural equation modeling techniques to data from the National Survey of American Life to investigate the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms among African American women ages 18–98 years (N=2,299). In addition, we evaluate whether or not personal mastery accounts for the intensity of African American women’s psychological response to discrimination and whether or not exposure to discrimination varies by skin complexion. Findings reveal that discrimination is a major threat to African American women’s mental health. They are vulnerable to discrimination, in part, because discrimination undermines their beliefs in mastery making them less psychologically resilient. Experiences of discrimination do not differ by complexion. We conclude that complexion does not matter, but mastery does.
PMCID: PMC2999883  PMID: 21151821
Discrimination; Depressive symptoms; Skin tone; African American women

Results 1-3 (3)