The seemingly ‘protective’ effect of internalised racism on overall health among 780 Black/African Americans: the serial mediation of stigma consciousness and locus of control

Drexler James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Internalised racism (IR) is associated with better and worse health outcomes among racial/ethnic minorities. However, the underlying mechanisms associating IR with either positive or negative health outcomes are not well understood. Design & main outcomes measures: To address this gap, this study investigated two pathways that associate increased IR with better self-reported overall health (OH; i.e. dental, mental, physical and vision health) among 780 Black/African American adults (mean age 37.68 years, 57.6% female): (1) via stigma consciousness and (2) via stigma consciousness and locus of control beliefs. Results: Consistent with predictions, stigma consciousness mediated the indirect effect of IR on OH, such that higher IR was associated with lower stigma consciousness, which was associated with better self-reported OH. Confirming predictions, this indirect effect was also carried through locus of control beliefs, such that higher IR was associated with lower stigma consciousness; lower stigma consciousness was also associated with internal locus of control beliefs, which were associated with better self-reported OH. Conclusions: Although seemingly protective, this adaptive, strategic and short-term response to race-based threat in which group stereotypes are internalised can lead to negative health outcomes over time. These findings have implications for understanding IR and associated health disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-443
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology and Health
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Internalised racism
  • dental health
  • locus of control
  • mental health
  • stigma consciousness
  • vision health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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