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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies 6/2019

05-04-2019 | Original Paper

Racial Discrimination and Psychological Distress among African American Adolescents: Investigating the Social Support Deterioration Model

Auteurs: Shardé McNeil Smith, Ruiwen Sun, Mellissa S. Gordon

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 6/2019

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Abstract

Objectives

Despite ample evidence of the negative effects of racial discrimination on African American adolescents’ psychological well-being, less is known about the role of social support as a mechanistic pathway. The purpose of this study was to understand whether lower levels of family social support explained the link between racial discrimination and psychological distress by testing the social support deterioration model.

Methods

A sample of 401 African American adolescents from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods was used for this study. Adolescents self-reported on whether they experienced racial discrimination or worried about racial discrimination across several contexts; their receipt of social support from their family; and measures of psychological distress.

Results

Adolescents experiencing or worrying about racial discrimination in one to three contexts reported lower levels of family social support relative to adolescents not experiencing or worrying about racial discrimination experiences in any context, and in turn associated with higher levels of psychological distress. In contrast, relative to adolescents reporting no racial discrimination experiences or worries, family social support was not a significant mediator for adolescents experiencing or worrying about racial discrimination in more than four contexts.

Conclusion

These findings suggest that the path by which racial discrimination is linked to psychological distress varies by the number of contexts by which adolescents experience or worry about racial discrimination. Adolescents experiencing fewer instances of racial discrimination may not receive or perceive the familial support they need to combat the negative mental health effects of racial discrimination.
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Metagegevens
Titel
Racial Discrimination and Psychological Distress among African American Adolescents: Investigating the Social Support Deterioration Model
Auteurs
Shardé McNeil Smith
Ruiwen Sun
Mellissa S. Gordon
Publicatiedatum
05-04-2019
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Child and Family Studies / Uitgave 6/2019
Print ISSN: 1062-1024
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2843
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01397-6