Does Spousal Support Moderate the Association Between Perceived Racial Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms among African American Couples?

Sharde' N. Mcneil, Frank D. Fincham, Steven R.H. Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Social stress theory proposes that stress resulting from one's social position in society leads to fewer coping resources, and subsequently causes an increase in mental health problems. Guided by this framework, we investigated whether the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms was moderated by spousal social support in a sample of 487 African American heterosexual couples. Using the actor-partner interdependence model, findings suggested that female partner's perceived racial discrimination was predictive of her depressive symptomology irrespective of spousal support and male partner's perceived racial discrimination was predictive of depressive symptomology only among men with low levels of spousal support. No partner effects were present. The results demonstrate the need to examine variability in social stress and mental health outcomes for those in close relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalFamily Process
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African American
  • Couples
  • Depression
  • Discrimination
  • Spousal Support
  • Stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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