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Racial Discrimination, Discrimination-Related Coping, and Mental Health Among Older African Americans

Racial Discrimination, Discrimination-Related Coping, and Mental Health Among Older African... Much attention has been directed toward understanding the mental health advantage of African Americans relative to their more privileged White counterparts. One understudied mechanism is the role of coping strategies in the face of psychosocial factors such as racial discrimination. In this chapter, we study how seven distinct coping strategies are associated with depressive symptoms and serious psychological distress among older African Americans, with special emphasis on how the frequency of everyday racial discrimination and gender shape the association between coping and mental health. We find that among African American women aged 55 and older, the combination of blaming oneself and high levels of everyday racial discrimination is especially unfavorable for depressive symptoms, while prayer is protective against psychological distress under conditions of high levels of everyday racial discrimination. For African American men aged 55 and older under high levels of everyday racial discrimination, working harder to prove “them” wrong is detrimental to both mental health outcomes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Gerontology & Geriatrics Springer Publishing

Racial Discrimination, Discrimination-Related Coping, and Mental Health Among Older African Americans

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
Copyright
© 2022 Springer Publishing Company
ISSN
0198-8794
eISSN
1944-4036
DOI
10.1891/0198-8794.41.85
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Much attention has been directed toward understanding the mental health advantage of African Americans relative to their more privileged White counterparts. One understudied mechanism is the role of coping strategies in the face of psychosocial factors such as racial discrimination. In this chapter, we study how seven distinct coping strategies are associated with depressive symptoms and serious psychological distress among older African Americans, with special emphasis on how the frequency of everyday racial discrimination and gender shape the association between coping and mental health. We find that among African American women aged 55 and older, the combination of blaming oneself and high levels of everyday racial discrimination is especially unfavorable for depressive symptoms, while prayer is protective against psychological distress under conditions of high levels of everyday racial discrimination. For African American men aged 55 and older under high levels of everyday racial discrimination, working harder to prove “them” wrong is detrimental to both mental health outcomes.

Journal

Annual Review of Gerontology & GeriatricsSpringer Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 2022

References