Date Approved

2017

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson

Committee Member

Michelle Byrd

Committee Member

Heather Janisse

Committee Member

Shalonda Kelly

Committee Member

Ellen Koch

Abstract

Recently, researchers have investigated how racial identity status attitudes may influence the relationship between experiencing racism and affective responses (i.e., it has been suggested that racial identity may act as a buffer against experiencing negative affect as a consequence of exposure to racial discrimination). While this question has received increased attention in recent years, this literature has not extensively examined this association with more current and refined conceptualizations of subtle discrimination (i.e., microaggressions) and racial ideology. Additionally, the impact of racial coping styles on this association has not yet been examined. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine whether endorsement of racial identity and color-blind attitudes might both moderate the relationship between experiencing modern racism (quantified using the Racial and Ethnic Microaggressions Scale) and psychological distress. A secondary goal of this study was to determine the potential impact of racial coping styles on the aforementioned relationship. Utilizing a sample of 218 Black college students, this study found that the association between experiencing racial microaggressions and endorsing symptoms of psychological distress was moderated by color-blind racial attitudes. This study also found that anger regulation coping partially mediated the relationship between racial microaggression scores and psychological distress. Further, this study found no support for the hypothesis that racial identity attitudes and color-blind racial attitudes would additively moderate the association between experiencing racial microaggressions and endorsing symptoms of psychological distress.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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