African Americans experience numerous adverse health consequences due to race-related stress. Yet, mindfulness may serve as a relevant and vital protective factor in the link between race-related stressors and depressive symptoms for this population.
Data from 190 African American participants, ages 18–53, were used to investigate if past discrimination and race-related vigilance, two types of race-related stressors, interactively predicted greater depressive symptomatology among this sample. We also assessed if mindfulness moderated the association between race-related stressors, as indicated by past discrimination and race-related vigilance, and depressive symptomatology.
Our results indicated that past discrimination and race-related vigilance did not interactively predict depressive symptomatology in our sample; however, these stressors were independently related to greater depressive symptoms. Additionally, we found that greater levels of mindfulness were associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms, and mindfulness significantly moderated the association between both race-related stressors and depressive symptoms.
These findings support mindfulness’ ability to buffer the negative health consequences of past discrimination and race-related vigilance for African Americans. Additional conclusions and future research directions are discussed.