Religious Social Support, Discrimination, and Psychiatric Disorders Among Black Adolescents
- First Online:
- 1.1k Downloads
Discrimination is a common experience for black adolescents that can jeopardize their mental health. However, research suggests that various dimensions of religion have positive effects on their mental health and well-being. Additionally, exposure to discrimination may vary by youths’ socio-demographic factors, such as gender and ethnicity. Numerous studies identify the protective effects of emotional and tangible religious social support on the mental health of black adults reporting discrimination. Conversely, fewer studies address the influence of emotional and tangible religious social support on mental health for black adolescents experiencing discrimination, while also accounting for socio-demographic heterogeneity among black adolescents. Historically, religion has played an instrumental role in the diverse narratives of the black Diaspora in the United States. It is important to account for its potential protective effects for black youth. Examining these factors using a compensatory risk and resilience model, our study finds that black adolescents who experience discrimination are also more likely to meet criteria for a psychiatric disorder. Additionally, those who report experiencing religious social support are less likely to meet criteria for a psychiatric disorder. These findings were not moderated by the socio-demographic factors of gender or ethnicity. To date, this investigation is one of the first to examine the effect of different types of religious social support in the presence of discrimination on psychiatric illness among African American and Caribbean black adolescents.
KeywordsReligion Social support Discrimination Psychiatric disorder Black youth
- Assari, S. (2013). Race and ethnicity, religion involvement, church-based social support and subjective health in United States: A case of moderated mediation. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4(2), 208–217.Google Scholar
- Assari, S., Lankarani, M. M., & Lankarani, R. M. (2013). Ethnicity modifies the effects of anxiety and drug use on suicidal ideation among black adults in the United States. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4(11), 1251–1257.Google Scholar
- Assari, S., Lankarani, M. M., & Moazen, B. (2012). Religious beliefs may reduce the negative effect of psychiatric disorders on age of onset of suicidal ideation among blacks in the United States. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3(5), 358–364.Google Scholar
- Assari, S., Watkins, D., & Caldwell, C. (2014). Multiplicative effect of discrimination and race attribution on depression among blacks: The role of gender and ethnicity. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 1(3), 1–8.Google Scholar
- Butler-Barnes, S. T., Martin, P. P., Copeland-Linder, N., Seaton, E. K., Matusko, N., Caldwell, C. H., & Jackson, J. S. (2016). The protective role of religious involvement in African American and Caribbean Black adolescents' experiences of racial discrimination. Youth and Society. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0044118X15626063.
- Cook, K. V. (2000). You have to have somebody watching your back, and if that’s God, then that’s mighty big. The church’s role in the resilience of inner-city youth. Adolescence, 35(140), 717–730.Google Scholar
- Cooper, S. M., McLoyd, V. C., Wood, D., & Hardaway, C. R. (2008). Racial discrimination and the mental health of African American adolescents. In S. Quintana & C. McKown (Eds.), Handbook of race, racism, and the developing child (pp. 278–312). New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Crawford, E., Wright, M. O., & Masten, A. S. (2006). Resilience and spirituality in youth. The Handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence (pp. 355–370). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Cutrona, C. E. (2000). Social support principles for strengthening families. In J. Canavan, P. Dolan, & J. Pinkerton (Eds.), Family support in disadvantaged families (pp. 103–122). Dublin: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Jackson, J. S., Neighbors, H. W., Torres, M., Martin, L. A., Williams, D. R., & Baser, R. (2007). Use of mental health services and subjective satisfaction with treatment among black Caribbean immigrants: results from the National Survey of American Life. American Journal of Public Health, 97(1), 60–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jackson, J. S., Torres, M., Caldwell, C. H., Neighbors, H. W., Nesse, R. M., Taylor, R. J., et al. (2004). The National Survey of American Life: A study of racial, ethnic and cultural influences on mental disorders and mental health. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 13(4), 196–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kessler, R. C., Wittchen, H. U., Abelson, J. M., Mcgonagle, K., Schwarz, N., Kendler, K. S., et al. (1998). Methodological studies of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) in the US national comorbidity survey (NCS). International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 7(1), 33–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Koenig, H. G. (2012). Religion, spirituality, and health: The research and clinical implications. ISRN Psychiatry, 2012.Google Scholar
- Matthews, D. D., Hammond, W. P., Nuru-Jeter, A., Cole-Lewis, Y., & Melvin, T. (2013). Racial discrimination and depressive symptoms among African-American men: The mediating and moderating roles of masculine self-reliance and John Henryism. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 14(1), 35–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Perry, B. L., Harp, K. L., & Oser, C. B. (2013). Racial and gender discrimination in the stress process: implications for African American women’s health and well-being. Sociological Perspectives, 56(1), 25–48.Google Scholar
- Proctor, B. D., & Dalaker, J. (2002). Poverty in the United States: 2001 current population reports. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
- Riggins, R. K., McNeal, C., & Herndon, M. K. (2008). The role of spirituality among African-American college males attending a historically black university. College Student Journal, 42(1), 70–81.Google Scholar
- Rose, T., Finigan-Carr, N., & Joe, S. (2016). Organized religious involvement and mental health among Caribbean Black adolescents. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 1–11. doi:10.1007/s10560-016-0452-6.