The Moderating Effects of Skin Color and Ethnic Identity Affirmation on Suicide Risk among Low-SES African American Women

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37 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the influence of concurrent racism and sexism experiences (i. e., gendered racism) on African American women's suicidal ideation and behavior in the context of disadvantaged socioeconomic status. Drawing on a stress process framework, the moderating effects of ethnic identity and skin color were explored using multiple regression analyses. Data were from 204 low-income African American women in the B-WISE (Black Women in a Study of Epidemics) project. Findings suggested that experiencing gendered racism significantly increased these women's risk for suicidal ideation or behavior, though only among women with medium or dark skin color. Also, having strong ethnic identity buffered the harmful effects of gendered racism. The moderating properties of skin color and ethnic identity affirmation likely operate through psychosocial pathways, blocking internalization of negative stereotypes and reducing the level of distress experienced in response to gendered racism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalRace and Social Problems
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01-DA22967).

Keywords

  • African American
  • Ethnic identity
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Skin color
  • Suicide
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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