Intergenerational Mobility and Goal-Striving Stress Among Black Americans: The Roles of Ethnicity and Nativity Status
Goal-striving stress refers to the psychological consequences of seeking but failing to reach upward mobility and is more common among low-income and people of color. Intergenerational mobility—or improved socioeconomic standing relative to one’s parents—may be an important predictor of goal-striving stress for Blacks. We used the National Survey of American Life to investigate the association between intergenerational mobility and goal-striving stress among U.S.-born African Americans, U.S.-born Caribbean Blacks, and foreign-born Caribbean Blacks. Intergenerational mobility was associated with lower goal-striving stress and U.S.-born African Americans and Caribbean Blacks reported lower goal-striving stress than foreign-born Caribbean Blacks. Goal-striving stress was relatively high among foreign-born Blacks, regardless of level of intergenerational mobility attained. Goal-striving is an important stressor for foreign-born Caribbean Blacks, regardless of their level of educational success. Given increasing Black migration, future studies should disaggregate the Black racial category based on ethnicity and nativity.
KeywordsGoal-striving stress Blacks African Americans Caribbean Blacks Immigration Mental health
This study was supported by the National Institute on Aging (P30AG1528) and the Michael J. and Susan Angelides Public Policy Research Fund.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Mouzon, Watkins, Perry, Simpson, Mitchell declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Research Involving with Human and Animal Standards
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
- 3.Center for the Study of the American Dream: The American dream? Second annual state of the American Dream Survey. New Orleans, LA: Xavier University; 2011.Google Scholar
- 4.Census Bureau US. Statistical abstract of the United States, 2011 (Table 225). Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau; 2012.Google Scholar
- 5.Urahn SK, Currier E, Elliott D, Wechsler L, Wilson D, Colbert D. Pursuing the American dream: economic mobility across generations. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center; 2012. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/0001/01/01/pursuing-the-american-dream.
- 7.Manuel RC, Taylor RJ, Jackson JS. Race and ethnic group differences in socioeconomic status: black Caribbeans, African Americans, and non-Hispanic whites in the United States. Western J Black Stud. 2012;36:228–39.Google Scholar
- 13.Census Bureau US. Income and Poverty in the U.S.: 2014. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau; 2015.Google Scholar
- 17.Kent MM. Immigration and America’s Black population. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau; 2007. http://www.prb.org/Publications/Reports/2007/blackimmigration.aspx.
- 21.Almeida J, Biello KB, Pedraza F, Wintner S, Vireull-Fuentes E. The association between anti-immigrant policies and perceived discrimination among Latinos in the US: a multilevel analysis. Soc Sci Med Popul Health. 2016;2:897–903.Google Scholar