Sex Differences in the Impact of Racial Discrimination on Mental Health Among Black Americans.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Greater racial discrimination is associated with poorer mental health among Black Americans; yet, there remains an incomplete understanding of sex differences in exposure to racial discrimination, and further, of how sex differences in coping with racial discrimination may heighten or diminish risk for poorer mental health. RECENT FINDINGS: Black men may experience greater exposure to both structural and communal forms of racial discrimination, whereas Black women may face both a wider range of potential sources, as well as encounter greater variability in the subjective experience of racial discrimination. For both Black women and men, racial discrimination may be similarly associated with maladaptive coping strategies (i.e., emotional eating, rumination) that also are linked to poorer mental health; however, emerging findings suggest that mindfulness may partially buffer these deleterious effects. Overall, the recent literature reveals mixed findings with respect to sex differences in the experience and negative mental health impact of racial discrimination. Despite this heterogeneity, evidence documents sex differences in the settings, type, and qualitative experience of racial discrimination among Black Americans. Additionally, growing evidence indicating that racial discrimination is associated with physiological markers of stress reactivity and psychopathology risk further bolsters its characterization as a unique form of chronic stress among Black Americans and other minority groups in the USA.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brownlow, BN; Sosoo, EE; Long, RN; Hoggard, LS; Burford, TI; Hill, LK

Published Date

  • November 4, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 112 -

PubMed ID

  • 31686220

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1535-1645

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11920-019-1098-9


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States