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Racial discrimination is associated with alcohol use and risky sex cognitions and behaviors, which are risk factors for negative health outcomes, including human immunodeficiency virus infection. The current study investigated the causal impact of racial discrimination on alcohol and sexual-risk cognitions while exploring potential mediators that might help explain this relation: negative affect, perceived control, and meaningful existence. We also examined if past discrimination impacts the strength of (moderates) these effects. Participants were 287 Black/African American young adults aged 18–25. They were randomly assigned to be excluded or included by White peers via the game Cyberball. Racial exclusion (vs. inclusion) predicted greater: perceived racial discrimination, negative affect, alcohol use willingness, and reduced perceived control and meaningful existence. Furthermore, excluded participants who experienced more past racial discrimination reported the lowest perceived control, and greatest negative affect and alcohol-risk cognitions. The findings suggest that past racial discrimination exacerbates the harmful health effects of immediate experiences of discrimination.
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- Past racial discrimination exacerbates the effects of racial exclusion on negative affect, perceived control, and alcohol-risk cognitions among Black young adults
Michelle L. Stock
Laurel M. Peterson
Brianne K. Molloy
Sharon F. Lambert
- Springer US