Advertisement

Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 399–411 | Cite as

Hope Above Racial Discrimination and Social Support in Accounting for Positive and Negative Psychological Adjustment in African American Adults: Is “Knowing You Can Do It” as Important as “Knowing How You Can”?

  • Edward C. ChangEmail author
  • Olivia D. ChangEmail author
  • David Rollock
  • P. Priscilla Lui
  • Angela Farris Watkins
  • Jameson K. Hirsch
  • Elizabeth L. Jeglic
Original Article

Abstract

In the present study, we examined the role of racial discrimination, social support (viz., family and friends), and hope (viz., agency and pathways) in accounting for negative psychological adjustment (viz., anxious and depressive symptoms) and positive psychological adjustment (viz., vitality and life satisfaction) in a sample of 249 African Americans. Overall, results of conducting a series of hierarchical regression analyses provided some evidence for the role of racial discrimination and social support in accounting for both negative and positive psychological adjustment. Noteworthy, the inclusion of hope was found to significantly augment the prediction models of psychological adjustment. Within the hope set, agency was consistently found to uniquely account for adjustment. In contrast, pathways was only found to uniquely account for vitality. Beyond affirming the importance of racial discrimination and social support, the present findings highlight the added value of considering hope, especially agency, in understanding positive and negative psychological adjustment in African Americans. Implications of the present findings for understanding the role of racial discrimination, social support, and hope in the psychological adjustment of African American adults are discussed.

Keywords

Racial discrimination Social support Hope Psychological adjustment African Americans 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The first author would like to thank Chang Suk-Choon and Tae Myung-Sook for their encouragement and support throughout this project, and to acknowledge the late C. R. Snyder for sharing his passion for the study of hope in the lives of all people.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Edward C. Chang, Olivia D. Chang, David Rollock, P. Priscilla Lui, Angela Farris Watkins, Jameson K. Hirsch, and Elizabeth L. Jeglic declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Review Board at the university where the study was conducted. Informed consent was obtained from all individuals participating in the present study.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.

References

  1. Adams, V. H., Rand, I. I. I., Kahle, K. L., Snyder, C. R., Berg, C., King, E. A., & Rodriguez-Hanley, A. (2003). African Americans’ hope and coping with racism stressors. In R. Jacoby & G. Keinan (Eds.), Between stress and hope: From a disease-centered to a health centered perspective (pp. 235–249). Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  2. Adler, A. (1923). Understanding human nature (W. B. Wolfe, Trans.). London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.Google Scholar
  3. Allport, G. W. (1937). Personality: A psychological interpretation. New York: Holt.Google Scholar
  4. American Psychological Association. (2016). Stress in America: The impact of discrimination. Stress in America™ Survey. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2015/impact-of-discrimination.pdf.
  5. American Psychological Association. (2017). Multicultural guidelines: An ecological approach to context, identity, and intersectionality. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/policy/multicultural-guidelines.pdf.
  6. Babyak, M. A., Snyder, C. R., & Yoshinobu, L. (1993). Psychometric properties of the Hope Scale: A confirmatory factor analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 27, 154–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavior change. Psychological Review, 84, 191–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Banks, K. H., Kohn-Wood, L. P., & Spencer, M. (2006). An examination of the African American experiences of everyday discrimination and symptoms of psychological distress. Community Mental Health Journal, 42, 555–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Banks, K. H., Singleton, J. L., & Kohn-Wood, L. P. (2008). The influence of hope on the relationship between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 36, 231–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bass, L. A., & Stein, C. H. (1997). Comparing the structure and stability of network ties using the Social Support Questionnaire and the Social Network List. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 14, 123–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Beck, A. T., Epstein, N., Brown, G., & Steer, R. A. (1988). An inventory for measuring clinical anxiety: Psychometric properties. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 893–897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, L., & Erbaugh, J. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 4, 561–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bell-Tolliver, L., Burgess, R., & Brock, L. J. (2009). African American therapists working with African American families: An exploration of the strengths perspective in treatment. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 35, 293–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Broman, C. L. (1997). Race-related factors and life satisfaction in African Americans. Journal of Black Psychology, 23, 36–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cattell, R. B. (1965). The scientific analysis of personality. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  16. Chang, E. C. (1998). Hope, problem-solving ability, and coping in a college student population: Some implications for theory and practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 54, 953–962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chang, E. C. (2017a). Applying the broaden-and-build model of positive emotions to social problem solving: Does feeling good (vs. feeling bad) influence problem orientation, problem-solving skills, or both? Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 36, 380–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chang, E. C. (2017b). Perfectionism and loneliness as predictors of depressive and anxious symptoms in African American adults: Further evidence for a top-down additive model. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 41, 720–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Chang, E. C., & Banks, K. H. (2007). The color and texture of hope: Some preliminary findings and implications for hope theory and counseling among diverse racial/ethnic groups. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 13, 94–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chang, E. C., Chang, O. D., Lee, J., Lucas, A. G., Li, M., Castro, K. M., et al. (in press). Going beyond ethnoracial discrimination and social support in accounting for psychological adjustment: Evidence for the importance of hope as a positive psychological construct in multiethnoracial adults. The Journal of Positive Psychology.Google Scholar
  21. Chang, E. C., Downey, C. A., Hirsch, J. K., & Lin, N. J. (2016). Introduction to positive psychology in racial and ethnic groups: A second call to action! In E. C. Chang, C. A. Downey, J. K. Hirsch & N. J. Lin (Eds.), Positive psychology in racial and ethnic groups: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 3–12). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Chang, E. C., Downey, C. A., Hirsch, J. K., & Yu, E. A. (Eds.). (2018). Treating depression, anxiety, and stress in ethnic and racial groups: Cognitive behavioral approaches. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  23. Chang, E. C., Yu, T., Chang, O. D., & Hirsch, J. K. (2016). Hope and trauma: Examining a diathesis-stress model in predicting depressive and anxious symptoms in college students. Personality and Individual Differences, 96, 52–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Chao, R. C.-L., Mallinckrodt, B., & Wei, M. (2012). Co-occurring presenting problems in African American college clients reporting racial discrimination distress. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43, 199–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Cheavens, J. S., Feldman, D. B., Gum, A., Michael, S. T., & Snyder, C. R. (2006). Hope therapy in a community sample: A pilot investigation. Social Indicators Research, 77, 61–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Clark, R., Anderson, N. B., Clark, V. R., & Williams, D. R. (1999). Racism as a stressor for African Americans: A biopsychosocial model. American Psychologist, 54, 805–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Cohen, J. (1977). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (rev. ed.). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  28. Cohen, S., & Wills, T. A. (1985). Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 98, 310–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. D’Zurilla, T. J., & Nezu, A. M. (2006). Problem-solving therapy: A positive approach to clinical intervention (3rd ed.). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  30. Danoff-Burg, S., Prelow, H. M., & Swenson, R. R. (2004). Hope and life satisfaction in Black college students coping with race-related stress. Journal of Black Psychology, 30, 208–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Davidson, C. L., Wingate, L. R., Slish, M. L., & Rasmussen, K. A. (2010). The great black hope: Hope and its relation to suicide risk among African Americans. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 40, 170–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction with Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Du Bois, W. E. B. (1903). The souls of Black folk. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co.Google Scholar
  34. Fife, J., Adegoke, A., McCoy, J., & Brewer, T. (2011). Religious commitment, social support and life satisfaction among college students. College Student Journal, 45, 393–400.Google Scholar
  35. Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gomez, R., McLaren, S., Sharp, M., Smith, C., Hearn, K., & Turner, L. (2015). Evaluation of the bifactor structure of the Dispositional Hope Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 97, 191–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Harris, T. L., & Molock, S. D. (2000). Cultural orientation, family cohesion and family support in suicide ideation and depression among African American college students. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 30, 341–353.Google Scholar
  38. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2014). Population distribution by race/ethnicity: Timeframe 2014. Retrieved from http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/distribution-by-raceethnicity/.
  39. Henson, J. M., Derlega, V. J., Pearson, M. R., Ferrer, R., & Holmes, K. (2013). African American students’ responses to racial discrimination: How race-based rejection sensitivity and social constraints are related to psychological reactions. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 32, 504–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hirsch, B. J. (1980). Natural support systems and coping with major life changes. American Journal of Community Psychology, 8, 159–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hirsch, J. K., Visser, P. L., Chang, E. C., & Jeglic, E. L. (2012). Race and ethnic differences in hope and hopelessness as moderators of the association between depressive symptoms and suicidal behavior. Journal of American College Health, 60, 115–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jackson, K. F., Yoo, H. C., Guevarra, R. Jr., & Harrington, B. A. (2012). Role of identity integration on the relationship between perceived racial discrimination and psychological adjustment of multiracial people. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59, 240–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Jeglic, E. L., Pepper, C. M., Vanderhoff, H. A., & Ryabchenko, K. A. (2007). An analysis of suicidal ideation in a college sample. Archives of Suicide Research, 11, 41–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kessler, R. C., Chiu, W. T., Demler, O., & Walters, E. F. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 617–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Klonoff, E. A., & Landrine, H. (1999). Cross-validation of the Schedule of Racist Events. Journal of Black Psychology, 25, 231–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kwon, P. (2000). Hope and dysphoria: The moderating role of defense mechanisms. Journal of Personality, 68, 199–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Landrine, H., Klonoff, E. A., Corral, I., Fernandez, S., & Roesch, S. (2006). Conceptualizng and measuring ethnic discrimination in health research. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 29, 79–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lopez, S. J. (2013). Making hope happen: Create the future you want for yourself and others. New York: Atria Books.Google Scholar
  49. Lopez, S. J., Garigletti, K. P., McDermott, D., Sherwin, E. D., Floyd, R. K., Rand, K., & Snyder, C. R. (2000). Hope for the evolution of diversity: On leveling the field of dreams. In C. R. Snyder (Ed.), Handbook of hope: Theory, measures, & applications (pp. 223–242). San Diego: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lopez, S. J., Snyder, C. R., & Pedrotti, J. T. (2003). Hope: Many definitions, many measures. In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder (Eds.), Positive psychological assessment: A handbook of models and measures (pp. 91–106). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Magaletta, P. R., & Oliver, J. M. (1999). The hope construct, will, and ways: Their relations with self-efficacy, optimism, and general well-being. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 55, 539–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Neighbors, H. W. (1997). Husband, wives, family and friends: Sources of stress, sources of support. In R. J. Taylor, J. S. Jackson & L. M. Chatters (Eds.), Family life in Black America (pp. 277–292). Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  53. Neighbors, H. W., Hudson, D. L., & Bullard, K. M. (2012). The challenge of understanding the mental health of African Americans: The risks and rewards of segregation, support, and John Henryism. In E. C. Chang & C. A. Downey (Eds.), Handbook of race and development in mental health (pp. 45–66). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Nguyen, A. W., Chatters, L. M., Taylor, R. J., & Mouzon, D. M. (2016). Social support from family and friends and subjective well-being in older African Americans. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17, 959–979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pollock, E. D., Kazman, J. B., & Deuster, P. (2015). Family functioning and stress in African American families: A strength-based approach. Journal of Black Psychology, 41, 144–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Prelow, H. M., Mosher, C. E., & Bowman, M. A. (2006). Perceived racial discrimination, social support, and psychological adjustment among African American college students. Journal of Black Psychology, 32, 442–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Prilleltensky, I. (1989). Psychology and the status quo. American Psychologist, 44, 795–802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80(1, Whole No. 609).Google Scholar
  59. Ryan, R. M., & Frederick, C. (1997). On energy, personality, and health: Subjective vitality as a dynamic reflection of well-being. Journal of Personality, 65, 529–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sanders-Phillips, K. (2009). Racial discrimination: A continuum of violence exposure for children of color. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 12, 174–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Schulz, A. J., Israel, B. A., Zenk, S. N., Parker, E. A., Lichtenstein, R., Shellman-Weir, S., & Klem, A. B. L. (2006). Psychosocial stress and social support as mediators of the relationship between income, length of residence and depressive symptoms among African American women on Detroit’s eastside. Social Science & Medicine, 62, 510–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Snyder, C. R. (1994). The psychology of hope: You can get there from here. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  63. Snyder, C. R. (2002). Hope theory: Rainbows in the mind. Psychological Inquiry, 13, 249–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Snyder, C. R., Harris, C., Anderson, J. R., Holleran, S. A., Irving, L. M., Sigmon, S. T., et al. (1991). The will and the ways: Development and validation of an individual-differences measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 570–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Snyder, C. R., Hoza, B., Pelham, W. E., Rapoff, M., Ware, L., Danovsky, M., et al. (1997). The development and validation of the Children’s Hope Scale. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 22, 399–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Snyder, C. R., Ilardi, S. S., Cheavens, J., Michael, S. T., Yamhure, L., & Sympson, S. (2000). The role of hope in cognitive-behavior therapies. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 24, 747–752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Taylor, R. J., Chatters, L. M., & Jackson, J. S. (1997). Changes over time in support network involvement among Black Americans. In R. J. Taylor, J. S. Jackson & L. M. Chatters (Eds.), Family life in Black America (pp. 293–316). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  68. Tong, E. M. W., Fredrickson, B. L., Chang, W., & Lim, Z. X. (2010). Re-examining hope: The roles of agency thinking and pathways thinking. Cognition and Emotion, 24, 1207–1215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. U.S. Census Bureau. (2015). Projections of the size and composition of the U.S. population: 2014 to 2060. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau News.Google Scholar
  70. Utsey, S. O., Ponterotto, J. G., Reynolds, A. L., & Cancelli, A. A. (2000). Racial discrimination, coping, life satisfaction, and self-esteem among African Americans. Journal of Counseling & Development, 78, 72–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Watson, D., & Clark, L. A. (1984). Negative affectivity: The disposition to experience aversive emotional states. Psychological Bulletin, 96, 465–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Williams, D. R., González, H. M., Neighbors, H., Nesse, R., Abelson, J. M., Sweetman, J., & Jackson, J. S. (2007). Prevalence and distribution of major depressive disorder in African Americans, Caribbean Blacks, and non-Hispanic Whites: Results from the National Survey of American Life. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64, 305–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Wong, P. T. P. (2011). Positive psychology 2.0: Towards a balanced interactive model of the good life. Canadian Psychology, 52, 69–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Yap, S. C. Y., Settles, I. H., & Pratt-Hyatt, J. S. (2011). Mediators of the relationship between racial identity and life satisfaction in a community sample of African American women and men. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17, 89–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward C. Chang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Olivia D. Chang
    • 1
    Email author
  • David Rollock
    • 2
  • P. Priscilla Lui
    • 3
  • Angela Farris Watkins
    • 4
  • Jameson K. Hirsch
    • 5
  • Elizabeth L. Jeglic
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologySouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologySpelman CollegeAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyJohn Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations