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Mediators of Discrimination and Self-rated Health among African Americans

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Abstract:

Objectives: To examine whether stress and depressive symptoms mediated relationships of perceived discrimination and self-rated health among African Americans. Methods: A nonparametric bootstrapping procedure was used to assess mediation, controlling for sociodemographic variables, among 1406 cohort study adults (age=45.5±12.6, 25.1% male). Results: Greater discrimination was associated with poorer self-rated health (β =-.010, SE=.003, p = .001). Stress and depressive symptoms were each significant mediators of this relationship in single and multiple mediator models (ps ≤ 05). Conclusions: Perceived discrimination may contribute to poorer self-rated health among African Americans through heightened levels of stress and depression. Interventions addressing these mechanisms might help reduce the impact of discrimination on health. Definitive results await longitudinal study designs to assess causal pathways.

Keywords: DEPRESSION; DISCRIMINATION; SELF-RATED HEALTH; STRESS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.37.6.3

Affiliations: 1: Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; Department of Psychology, Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA 2: Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA Lrreitze@mdanderson.org 3: Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA 4: Department of Biostatistics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA 5: Department of Health Disparities Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA; Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX, USA

Publication date: 2013-11-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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