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Perceived discrimination, family support and psychological well being among black adolescents

Nakesha Faison, MS, Program for Research on Black Americans, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson St., P.O. 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, 734-763-2167, nfaison@umich.edu and Cleopatra Howard Caldwell, PhD, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

This study explores the effects of perceived discrimination and family support on psychological well-being in a national sample of Black adolescents (n = 1040). Data are from the National Survey of American Life. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 13-19 year old adolescents to assess their perceptions of different types of unfair treatment, support from their mothers, and other types of social support as they relate to their psychological well being (i.e. depressive symptoms, self esteem, and life satisfaction). The results suggest that more perceptions of unfair treatment were related to higher depressive symptoms, lower self esteem, and less life satisfaction. Both support from mothers and anticipated support from family members were associated with fewer depressive symptoms, higher self esteem, and more life satisfaction. Multivariate results show that perceived discrimination remained significant for each indicator of psychological well being after controlling for the influences of gender, age and multiple family support factors. The implications of these findings for the mental health service needs of Black youth and intervention strategies aimed at reducing the influences of uncontrollable stress will be discussed.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: African American, Well-Being

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Race, Culture, Behavior and the Environment: A National Debate on Causes of Health Disparities

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA