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The environmental affordances (EA) model posits that maladaptive self-regulatory strategies (e.g., emotional eating) directly and indirectly heighten African Americans’ risk for downstream medical morbidities while also potentially mitigating the psychological impact of stressors. We empirically tested the full EA model. In doing so, we investigated the associations among racial discrimination, depressive symptomatology, and physical health proxies as well as the intervening role of emotional eating in these associations among 150 African Americans aged 18–27. The increased frequency of experiencing racial discrimination was significantly associated with poorer self-reported health, greater depressive symptomatology, and more emotional eating. There was no significant association between emotional eating and physical health and emotional eating did not mediate the relation between racial discrimination and physical health. Finally, racial discrimination was associated with depressive symptomatology, but only among African Americans with mean or high levels of emotional eating.
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- The role of emotional eating in the links between racial discrimination and physical and mental health
Lori S. Hoggard
- Springer US