Extant literature has identified ethnic and racial minorities as highly susceptible to experiences of discrimination, and evidence has undoubtedly demonstrated that such experiences can be psychologically harmful. Despite highlighting its deleterious effects, further research is needed to generate a more detailed understanding of how perceived discrimination impacts psychological symptoms in ethnic minorities. Inasmuch, this study seeks to identify cognitive factors that influence the psychological consequences of perceived discrimination in African American college students. Specifically, researchers will examine attributional processes associated with discrimination, such as the initiation of the discriminatory attribution process following a stressful event and the tendency to develop future expectations that discrimination will continue to cause stressful life experiences. In order to determine the psychological outcomes associated with the discriminatory attribution process, the current study includes the administration of gold-standard assessments of depression, social anxiety, chronic worry, and traumatic stress.
Uniquely, this study will also include the measurement validation of the Anxiety Symptoms of Discrimination Scale, which is a time efficient self-report questionnaire measuring the direct impact of discrimination on the expression of various anxiety symptoms. The current study focuses on African American college students ranging from ages 18-25. Participants were randomly assigned between four experimental conditions and then asked to complete an online survey consisting of self-report questionnaires.
Project Team: Ryan DeLapp and Broderick Sawyer.