Internalized Racism and Past-Year Major Depressive Disorder Among African-Americans: the Role of Ethnic Identity and Self-Esteem

Drexler James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although a large body of research focuses on discrimination as a risk for depression among African-Americans, only a dearth of research focuses on internalized racism (i.e., endorsement of negative stereotypes of one’s racial group) as a risk factor. In addition, no studies have yet to examine mediators and/or moderators of the relationship between internalized racism and depression. To this end, the present study examined the mediating and moderating roles of (a) self-esteem and (b) ethnic identity on the relationship between internalized racism and past-year major depressive disorder (MDD), in a nationally representative sample of African-American adults (N = 3570) from the National Survey of American Life. Results from this study revealed an indirect association between internalized racism and past-year MDD via self-esteem, but no indirect relationship via ethnic identity. Further, results show that both self-esteem and ethnic identity individually moderate the relationship between internalized racism and past-year MDD. Collectively, these findings suggest a need to further investigate mechanisms through which internalized racism impacts mental health and factors that strengthen and/or weaken the association between internalized racism and depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-670
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of racial and ethnic health disparities
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute.

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Ethnic identity
  • Internalized racism
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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