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The Relationship Between Collective Action and Well-Being and Its Moderators: Pervasiveness of Discrimination and Dimensions of Action

Abstract

Given the negative impact of perceiving gender discrimination on health (e.g., Pascoe and Smart Richman 2009), there is a need to develop interventions to attenuate this effect; collective action may be one such intervention. Study 1 (N = 185) used an experimental paradigm to investigate whether undergraduate women in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada perceived pervasiveness of discrimination would interact with their collective action-taking to predict negative mood and well-being. Results showed that among those perceiving pervasive gender discrimination, informing friends/family and informing the media led to greater well-being than doing nothing, whereas among those perceiving gender discrimination as isolated, doing nothing led to lower negative mood than taking action. In Study 2 (N = 105) undergraduate women in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada completed an online questionnaire to assess whether these patterns would be replicated and further moderated by the dimensions along which collective action is defined. Consistent with Study 1, among those perceiving pervasive discrimination, increased endorsement of informing the media predicted reduced symptomatology. Moreover, among those who defined collective actions as active, collective, public and high cost, increased endorsement of action predicted greater well-being. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

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Correspondence to Mindi D. Foster.

Additional information

This study was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada [grant number 410-2005-0256)].

Appendix

Appendix

Table 8 Intercorrelations for Study 1
Table 9 Intercorrelations for Study 2

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Foster, M.D. The Relationship Between Collective Action and Well-Being and Its Moderators: Pervasiveness of Discrimination and Dimensions of Action. Sex Roles 70, 165–182 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-014-0352-1

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Keywords

  • Gender discrimination
  • Collective action
  • Well-being
  • Confrontation
  • Coping