Buffers of Racial Discrimination: Links With Depression Among Rural African American Mothers

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The current study examines racial discrimination as a predictor of depression in a sample of 414 rural, low-income African American mothers of young children. The potential moderating role of optimism and church-based social support was also examined. Mothers completed questionnaires when their child was 24 months old. Hierarchical regression revealed that mothers' perception of racism was a significant predictor of depression even after controlling for a variety of distal demographic characteristics and environmental stressors. Significant interactions suggested the importance of psychological and social characteristics in understanding maternal depression. Specifically, high levels of optimism and church-based social support buffered mothers from increased depressive symptomology attributable to perceived racism.

Keywords: African Americans; coping; depression; motherhood; poverty; rural

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00704.x

Affiliations: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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