The moderating effects of skin color and ethnic identity affirmation on suicide risk among low-SES African American Women.
Perry, B.~~Stevens-Watkins, D.
This study examined the influence of concurrent racism and sexism experiences (i.e. gendered racism) on African American women’s suicidal ideation and behavior in the context of disadvantaged socioeconomic status. Drawing on a stress process framework, the moderating effects of ethnic identity and skin color were explored using multiple regression analyses. Data were from 204 low-income African American women in the B-WISE (Black Women in a Study of Epidemics) project. Findings suggested that experiencing gendered racism significantly increased these women’s risk for suicidal ideation or behavior, though only among women with medium or dark skin color. Also, having strong ethnic identity buffered the harmful effects of gendered racism. The moderating properties of skin color and ethnic identity affirmation likely operate through psychosocial pathways, blocking internalization of negative stereotypes and reducing the level of distress experienced in response to gendered racism.
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