A preliminary exploration of the moderating role of valued living in the relationships between racist experiences and anxious and depressive symptoms

Author(s):
Jessica R. Graham, Lindsey West & Lizabeth Roemer

Abstract:
The present study explores the relationship between frequency of racist experiences and anxious arousal, stress (general anxiety), and depressive symptoms in an African American sample. Fifty-seven African American undergraduate and graduate students responded to questionnaires assessing experiences of racism, valued living, and anxious arousal, stress (general anxiety), and depressive symptoms. Results indicated that valued living was significantly negatively correlated with anxious arousal, stress (general anxiety), and depressive symptoms. Additionally, valued living moderated the relationship between past year frequency of racist events and these symptoms. Specifically, the relationships between past year frequency of racist events and anxiety and depressive symptoms were significantly positive at low levels of valued living and not significant at high levels of valued living. Results from the current study provide preliminary evidence that engaging in actions consistent with what matters to the individual may buffer the negative emotional impact of racist experiences.

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