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Racial and Gender Discrimination in the Stress Process: Implications for African American Women's Health and Well-Being

Perry, B.L.; Harp, K.L.H.; Oser, C.B.

Sociological perspectives: SP: official publication of the Pacific Sociological Association 56(1): 25-48

2013


ISSN/ISBN: 0731-1214
PMID: 24077024
Accession: 055340767

In recent decades, sociologists have increasingly adopted an intersectionality framework to explore and explain the complex and interconnected nature of inequalities in the areas of race, class, and gender. Using an inclusion-centered approach and a sample of 204 low-socioeconomic-status (SES) African American women, the authors theorize and explore the role of racial and gender discrimination in the stress process. Analyses examine relationships between social stressors (racial and gender discrimination) and individual stressors occurring in each of six distinct social contexts. Furthermore, the authors evaluate the effects of racial and gender discrimination as compared to individual stressors on three indicators of mental health and well-being. Findings suggest that racial and gender discrimination increases risk for poor health and low well-being, working both directly and indirectly through increased vulnerability to individual stressors. This research demonstrates the value of a more comprehensive study of stressors that influence the health of low-SES African American women and other multiply disadvantaged groups.

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