The lagged effects of racial discrimination on depressive symptomology and interactions with racial identity

Lori S. Hoggard, Christy M. Byrd, Robert M. Sellers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Scholars agree on the negative impacts of racial discrimination on the mental health of African Americans (Brondolo et al., 2008). Yet research is needed to explore the impacts of everyday discrimination over time, especially compared to nonracial daily hassles, in an ecologically valid manner. It is also widely accepted that racial identity can moderate the impact of racial hassles (Sellers, Copeland-Linder, Martin,&Lewis 2006), but few studies have examined this moderating effect over time. The current study addresses gaps in the current literature by analyzing the relationship between reported racial and nonracial stressors over the course of four days. Participants were 225 college students at three institutions who participated in a 20-day daily diary study. Each day, participants reported whether they had experienced a stressful event and their depressive symptoms. We compared reports of depressive symptoms the day an event occurred and two days after for racial and nonracial stressors and examined whether racial identity served as a moderator. The results showed that individuals experienced similar increases for racial and nonracial stressors when events occur and similar decreases in the following two days. Additionally, symptom trajectories varied by racial identity. Implications for the understanding of racial discrimination's role in the well-being of African Americans are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-225
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • African Americans
  • Daily diary
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Racial discrimination
  • Racial identity

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