Do dimensions of ethnic identity mediate the association between perceived ethnic group discrimination and depressive symptoms?

Aerika S. Brittian, Su Yeong Kim, Brian E. Armenta, Richard M. Lee, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor, Seth J. Schwartz, Ian K. Villalta, Byron L. Zamboanga, Robert S. Weisskirch, Linda P. Juang, Linda G. Castillo, Monika L. Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ethnic group discrimination represents a notable risk factor that may contribute to mental health problems among ethnic minority college students. However, cultural resources (e.g., ethnic identity) may promote psychological adjustment in the context of group-based discriminatory experiences. In the current study, we examined the associations between perceptions of ethnic group discrimination and depressive symptoms, and explored dimensions of ethnic identity (i.e., exploration, resolution, and affirmation) as mediators of this process among 2,315 ethnic minority college students (age 18 to 30 years; 37% Black, 63% Latino). Results indicated that perceived ethnic group discrimination was associated positively with depressive symptoms among students from both ethnic groups. The relationship between perceived ethnic group discrimination and depressive symptoms was mediated by ethnic identity affirmation for Latino students, but not for Black students. Ethnic identity resolution was negatively and indirectly associated with depressive symptoms through ethnic identity affirmation for both Black and Latino students. Implications for promoting ethnic minority college students' mental health and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Emerging adults
  • Ethnic identity
  • Perceived ethnic group discrimination
  • Rejection-identification

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