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This project will analyze existing national and regional population data to enhance our understanding of how racial minority status, socioeconomic status and stress combine with psychosocial risk factors and resources to affect the social distribution of psychiatric morbidity. The proposed research will consider in a more comprehensive way than has been done previously the extent to which major race-related stressful life events (self-reported discrimination), chronic ongoing perceptions of unfair treatment and racial belief systems combine with more traditional measures of stress and a broad range of social and psychological resources to affect mental health and to explain racial variation in health status.

This work has the following specific aim: 1) To understand how race-related stressors, both chronic and acute, combine with other traditional measures of stress to affect mental health status; 2) To understand how discrimination is linked to socioeconomic status (SES) and social roles and can explain racial differences in mental health; 3) To identify possible casual priorities between mental health status and reports of racial/ethnic discrimination; 4) To understand how racial belief systems are linked to mental health; 5) To examine how various social and psychological resources for adapting to stress, such as social support, religious involvement, perceptions of mastery or control, self-esteem, John Henryism, and race-related resources (interracial contact, racial self-esteem), considered singly and in combination, affect perceptions of discrimination, other stress and health, and the relationships among them; and 6) To identify how varying responses to racial/ethnic discrimination are related to mental health status. The availability of these data provide an unprecedented opportunity to assess how specific characteristics limited to racial/ethnic status combine with socioeconomic status and psychosocial resources to affect the mental health of blacks and whites.

Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.