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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of social identity threat theory and research and discusses its implications for health. The chapter defines social identity threat as the situationally triggered concern that one is at risk of being stigmatized and provides a conceptual model of its antecedents and consequences. Social identity threat stems from mere awareness of the cultural representations that associate a self-relevant social identity with undesirable characteristics, coupled with situational cues that bring these self-relevant cultural biases to mind, and personal characteristics that moderate one’s susceptibility to such experiences. Social identity threat can lead to involuntary psychological and physiological processes that when experienced repeatedly can have detrimental consequences for health. This chapter describes strategies that people use to cope with social identity threat and discusses their implications for health, in addition to providing a description of psychological interventions that can attenuate the negative effects of social identity threat.

Keywords: social identity threat, stereotype threat, stigma, coping, stress, social identity, self-concept, anticipated stigma, stress and coping, health disparities

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