Racism and discrimination, coping, life satisfaction, and self -esteem among African -Americans

Shawn Ovie Utsey, Fordham University

Abstract

This study examined the coping behaviors employed by African Americans in their encounters with racism and discrimination. Initially, a total of 281 participants were administered the Index of Race-Related Stress (Utsey & Ponterotto, 1996) the Coping Strategy Indicator (Amirkhan, 1990), the Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener et al., 1985), and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965). The final sample consisted of 214 participants. Several research questions were posed for this study: (a) Which coping strategies (i.e., problem solving, seeking social support, or avoidance) are better predictors of race-related stress for which types of racism (i.e., cultural racism, institutional racism, or individual racism)? (b) In confronting racism, would some coping strategies be better predictors than others of self-esteem and life satisfaction? (c) Are different types of coping strategies employed in confronting different types of racism? (d) Are there significant gender differences in the types of coping strategies employed during encounters with racism? (e) Are there significant differences across socioeconomic status for the types of coping strategies employed during encounters with racism? The study's findings indicated that problem solving coping was the best predictor of institutional racism and that seeking social support coping was the best predictor of individual racism. Avoidance and seeking social support coping were predictors of both self-esteem and life satisfaction. In addition, avoidance coping was used significantly more than other coping strategies during encounters with individual racism. Moreover, women relied on seeking social support coping significantly more than men. No differences were found between socioeconomic status and coping strategies. ^

Subject Area

Black Studies|Psychology, Social|Education, Guidance and Counseling|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Recommended Citation

Shawn Ovie Utsey, "Racism and discrimination, coping, life satisfaction, and self -esteem among African -Americans" (January 1, 1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9824347.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9824347

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