Too Much of a Good Thing? Psychosocial Resources, Gendered Racism, and Suicidal Ideation among Low Socioeconomic Status African American Women

Brea L. Perry, Erin L. Pullen, Carrie B. Oser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Very few studies have examined predictors of suicidal ideation among African American women. Consequently, we have a poor understanding of the combinations of culturally specific experiences and psychosocial processes that may constitute risk and protective factors for suicide in this population. Drawing on theories of social inequality, medical sociology, and the stress process, we explore the adverse impact of gendered racism experiences and potential moderating factors in a sample of 204 predominantly low socioeconomic status (SES) African American women. We find that African American women's risk for suicidal ideation is linked to stressors occurring as a function of their distinct social location at the intersection of gender and race. In addition, we find that gendered racism has no effect on suicidal ideation among women with moderate levels of well-being, self-esteem, and active coping but has a strong adverse influence in those with high and low levels of psychosocial resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-359
Number of pages26
JournalSocial Psychology Quarterly
Volume75
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01-DA22967).

Keywords

  • African American women
  • active coping
  • racism
  • self-esteem
  • sexism
  • suicide
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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