Racial discrimination threatens mental health.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Mental health (Demographic aspects)
Stress (Psychology) (Risk factors)
Race discrimination (Psychological aspects)
Pub Date: 12/22/2009
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Winter, 2009 Source Volume: 12 Source Issue: 4
Product: Product Code: 9103557 Racial Oppression NAICS Code: 92812 International Affairs
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 216961276

Racial discrimination is a major danger to African American women's mental health, making them less psychologically resilient and more prone to depression, according to findings by Dr. Verna Keith at Florida State University. Dr. Keith and her team used data from the National Survey of American Life: Coping with Stress in the 21st Century to analyze the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms among 2,300 African American adult women. They also looked at whether personal mastery--the belief that one can control important circumstances affecting one's life--explained the intensity of the women's psychological response to discrimination, and whether experiences of discrimination differed by skin complexion. African American women who viewed themselves as being able to exercise some control over their life circumstances reported fewer depressive symptoms. Women who were subjected to higher levels of unfair treatment experienced more depressive symptoms, in part, because day-to-day discrimination undermined their overall confidence in their ability to manage life challenges, leaving them feeling powerless and depressed. The authors' analyses also showed that skin tone was not linked to the level of discrimination, mastery, or depressive symptoms. Older African American women reported slightly fewer experiences of discrimination, lower levels of mastery and fewer depressive symptoms than younger women.

Springer (2009, November 8). Discrimination Takes Its Toll On Black Women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 8, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com / releasesl2009/111091104123039.htm
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