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16-03-2020

Perceived racism, affectivity, and C-reactive protein in healthy African Americans: Do religiosity and racial identity provide complementary protection?

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Auteurs:
Caroline E. Drolet, Todd Lucas
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Abstract

Perceived racism contributes to cardiovascular disease (CVD) disparities among African Americans. Psychosocial factors that protect against the effects of perceived racism therefore may be reflected by indicators of CVD risk, including C-reactive protein (CRP). The current cross-sectional study examined whether CRP is linked to religiosity and racial identity—two culturally-enshrined individual differences that can protect against the harmful effects of racism. Healthy African Americans completed self-report measures of everyday racism, religious intensity (a measure of the importance of religion/spirituality), and racial centrality (a measure of racial identity strength). We measured positive and negative affectivity as outcomes (N = 534), and we collected a dried bloodspot measure of CRP (N = 118). Religious intensity and racial centrality were independently associated with greater positive affectivity, and interactively associated with negative affectivity and CRP—when perceived racism was high, strongly identified African Americans had significantly higher CRP, but lower negative affectivity, when they were also low in religious intensity. Results highlight that religiosity and racial identity may interactively protect against the effects of racism and may play a role in CVD disparities.

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