Graduation Year

2002

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Sacco, William P.

Keywords

african americans, racial discrimination, depression

Abstract

Two studies examined the relationship between reported racial discrimination and depression, and whether this relationship may be due to depressed mood induced influences. In study 1, sixty-four African American undergraduates completed measures of current depression, a racial discrimination index, and rated vignettes that were ambiguous in terms of the presence or absence of racial discrimination. A significant correlation was found between depression and reported racial discrimination. The purpose of Study 2 was to examine the effect of mood on recall of past experiences with discrimination. Groups of subjects were randomly assigned to either a sad mood induction condition or a neutral mood condition, and completed a racial discrimination index. Using analysis of covariance, no significant mood congruent effects were found.

Results are discussed in terms of contributions to our understanding of the effects of chronic racism, clinical implications of discrimination, and the need to consider cultural differences in definitions of and responses to racial discrimination.

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