Past Discrimination, Race-Related Vigilance, and Depressive Symptoms: the Moderating Role of Mindfulness
- 194 Downloads
African Americans experience numerous adverse health consequences due to race-related stress. Yet, mindfulness may serve as a relevant and vital protective factor in the link between race-related stressors and depressive symptoms for this population.
Data from 190 African American participants, ages 18–53, were used to investigate if past discrimination and race-related vigilance, two types of race-related stressors, interactively predicted greater depressive symptomatology among this sample. We also assessed if mindfulness moderated the association between race-related stressors, as indicated by past discrimination and race-related vigilance, and depressive symptomatology.
Our results indicated that past discrimination and race-related vigilance did not interactively predict depressive symptomatology in our sample; however, these stressors were independently related to greater depressive symptoms. Additionally, we found that greater levels of mindfulness were associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms, and mindfulness significantly moderated the association between both race-related stressors and depressive symptoms.
These findings support mindfulness’ ability to buffer the negative health consequences of past discrimination and race-related vigilance for African Americans. Additional conclusions and future research directions are discussed.
KeywordsRace-related stress Discrimination Vigilance Mindfulness African Americans
LaBarron K. Hill was supported by funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (#HL121708).
NNWS: Collaborated on study conceptualization and wrote the paper. LKH: Helped with study design, assisted with the data analyses, wrote the Results, created tables and figures, and helped with editing of the final manuscript. ADC: Collected data, collaborated on data analysis, wrote the Methods section, and collaborated in editing the final manuscript.
This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues awarded to Andrew D. Case; LaBarron K. Hill was supported by funding from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (#121708) during the writing of this manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Antony, M. M., Cox, B. J., Enns, M. W., Bieling, P. J., & Swinson, R. P. (1998). Psychometric properties of the 42-item and 21-item versions of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales in clinical groups and a community sample. Psychological Assessment, 10(2), 176–181. https://doi.org/10.1037/1040-35220.127.116.11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Benjamin, E. J., Blaha, M. J., Chiuve, S. E., Cushman, M., Das, S. R., Deo, R., et al. (2017). Heart disease and stroke statistics—2017 update: A report from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 135. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000485.
- Brondolo, E., Kelly, K. P., Coakley, V., Gordon, T., Thompson, S., Levy, E., et al. (2005). The perceived ethnic discrimination questionnaire: Development and preliminary validation of a community version. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35(2), 335–365. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2005.tb02124.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Brown-Iannuzzi, J. L., Adair, K. C., Payne, B. K., Richman, L. S., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2014). Discrimination hurts, but mindfulness may help: Trait mindfulness moderates the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 56, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2013.09.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Burnett-Zeigler, I. E., Satyshur, M. D., Hong, S., Yang, A., Moskowitz J., T., & Wisner, K. L. (2016). Mindfulness based stress reduction adapted for depressed disadvantaged women in an urban Federally Qualified Health Center. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 25, 59–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.08.007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Contrada, R. J., Ashmore, R. D., Gary, M. L., Coups, E., Egeth, J. D., Sewell, A., et al. (2001). Measures of ethnicity-related stress: Psychometric properties, ethnic group differences, and associations with well-being. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31(9), 1775–1820. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2001.tb00205.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cook, B. L., Hou, S. S.-Y., Lee-Tauler, S. Y., Progovac, A. M., Samson, F., & Sanchez, M. J. (2018). A review of mental health and mental health care disparities research: 2011-2014. Medical Care Research and Review, 107755871878059. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077558718780592.
- Cunningham, T. J., Croft, J. B., Liu, Y., Lu, H., Eke, P. I., & Giles, W. H. (2017). Vital signs: Racial disparities in age-specific mortality among Blacks or African Americans—United States, 1999–2015. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 66(17), 444–456. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6617e1.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Feldman, G., Hayes, A., Kumar, S., Greeson, J., & Laurenceau, J.-P. (2007). Mindfulness and emotion regulation: The development and initial validation of the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised (CAMS-R). Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 29(3), 177–190. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-006-9035-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Forrest-Bank, S., & Jenson, J. M. (2015). Differences in experiences of racial and ethnic microaggression among Asian, Latino/Hispanic, Black, and White young adults. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 42(1), 107–130.Google Scholar
- Hankerson, S. H., Fenton, M. C., Geier, T. J., Keyes, K. M., Weissman, M. M., & Hasin, D. S. (2011). Racial differences in symptoms, comorbidity, and treatment for major depressive disorder among. Black and White Adults, 103(7), 576–584. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0027-9684(15)30383-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). An introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Hicken, M. T., Lee, H., Ailshire, J., Burgard, S. A., & Williams, D. R. (2013). “Every shut eye, ain’t sleep”: The role of racism-related vigilance in racial/ethnic disparities in sleep difficulty. Race and Social Problems, 5(2), 100–112. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-013-9095-9.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Hicken, M. T., Lee, H., Morenoff, J., House, J. S., & Williams, D. R. (2014). Racial/ethnic disparities in hypertension prevalence: Reconsidering the role of chronic stress. American Journal of Public Health, 104(1), 117–123. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301395.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Hunt, J. B., Eisenberg, D., Lu, L., & Gathright, M. (2015). Racial/ethnic disparities in mental health care utilization among U.S. college students: Applying the institution of medicine definition of health care disparities. Academic Psychiatry, 39(5), 520–526. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40596-014-0148-1.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lazarus, R., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Lovibond, P. F., & Lovibond, S. H. (1995). The structure of negative emotional states: Comparison of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) with the Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33(3), 335–343. https://doi.org/10.1016/0005-7967(94)00075-U.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mays, V., Cochran, S., & Barnes, N. (2007). Race, race-based discrimination, and health outcomes among African Americans. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 201–225. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.57.102904.190212.Race.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Mokdad, A. H., Ford, E. S., Bowman, B. A., Dietz, W. H., Vinicor, F., Bales, V. S., & Marks, J. S. (2003). Prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and obesity-related health risk factors, 2001. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(1), 76–79. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.289.1.76.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Neville, H. A., Heppner, P. P., Ji P. &, & Thye, R. (2004). The relations among general and race-related stressors and psychoeducational adjustment in Black students attending predominantly White institutions, Journal of Black Studies, 34(4), 599–618. doi: 10.1177/0021934703259168Google Scholar
- Palta, P., Page, G., Piferi, R. L., Gill, J. M., Hayat, M. J., Connolly, A. B., & Szanton, S. L. (2012). Evaluation of a mindfulness-based intervention program to decrease blood pressure in low-income African-American older adults. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 89(2), 308–316. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-011-9654-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Proulx, J., Croff, R., Oken, B., Aldwin, C. M., Fleming, C., Bergen-Cico, D., et al. (2018). Considerations for research and development of culturally relevant mindfulness interventions in American minority communities. Mindfulness, 9(2), 361-370. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-017-0785-z.
- Tran, U. S., Glück, T. M., & Nader, I. W. (2013). Investigating the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ): Construction of a short form and evidence of a two-factor higher order structure of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(9), 951–965. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.21996.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Williams, D. R., Gonzalez, 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. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.64.3.305.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Woods-Giscombé, C. L., & Black, A. R. (2010). Mind-body interventions to reduce risk for health disparities related to stress and strength among African American women: The potential of mindfulness-based stress reduction, loving-kindness, and the NTU therapeutic framework. Complementary Health Practice Review, 15(3), 115–131. https://doi.org/10.1177/1533210110386776.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Woods-Giscombé, C. L., & Gaylord, S. a. (2014). The cultural relevance of mindfulness meditation as a health intervention for African Americans: Implications for reducing stress-related health disparities. Journal of Holistic Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1177/0898010113519010.
- Zapolski, T. C. B., Faidley, M. T., & Beutlich, M. R. (2019). The experience of racism on behavioral health outcomes: The moderating impact of mindfulness. Mindfulness, 10(1), 168-178. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0963-7.