Self- and group-focused internalized racism, anxiety, and depression symptoms among African American adults: A core self-evaluation mediated pathway

Drexler James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Internalized racism (IR) is a form of racism that leads people to internalize stereotypes about their racial/ethnic group (i.e., group-focused IR) and/or about themselves because of their racial/ethnic group membership (i.e., self-focused IR). However, although IR is associated with poor mental health, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of these associations. To address this limitation, this research investigates the core self-evaluation (CSE; a person’s fundamental evaluations about themselves, their own abilities, and their own control) mediated pathway as one potential pathway. CSE consists of four traits: self-esteem (SE), locus of control (LoC), emotional stability (ES), and generalized self-efficacy (GSE). With a sample of 780 Black/African American adults (Mage = 37.68 years, % Female = 57.6), this study investigated the independent direct and indirect effects of group- and self-focused IR on depression and anxiety symptoms via CSE using structural equation modeling. Confirming predictions, self- and group-focused IR predicted greater anxiety and depression symptoms and lower SE and ES. However, against predictions, both forms of IR were associated with increased internal LoC and were not associated with GSE. Last, results show partial support for the CSE mediated pathway, such that SE and ES (but not LoC or GSE) mediated the relationship between both self- and group-focused IR and anxiety and depression symptoms. Results suggest that IR is indirectly related to mental health via the more affective (SE, ES) relative to motivational (LoC, GSE) components of CSE, which has implications for understanding underlying mechanisms associating IR with poor mental health among racial/ethnic minorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1335-1354
Number of pages20
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume24
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • core self-evaluations
  • depression
  • emotional stability
  • internalized racism
  • locus of control
  • self-efficacy
  • self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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