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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Research has documented a strong link between perceived racial discrimination and various health outcomes among African Americans. These outcomes include health status and health-relevant behavior. This chapter focuses on the relation between the stress associated with perceived racial discrimination and health-risk behavior, primarily substance use and abuse. The chapter examines a variety of factors thought to mediate this relation, the two primary ones being negative affect and self-control. Research has shown that discrimination has an impact on both factors, and these in turn directly affect substance use. The chapter also examines several factors that have been shown to moderate the discrimination–health relationship. In addition, the chapter reviews research examining moderators that can be either risk-promoting or protective. Some research identifying individuals who appear to respond in a favorable or healthy manner to perceived discrimination is also reviewed. The chapter concludes with recommendations for future research.

Keywords: discrimination, health behavior, substance use, affect, buffers, risk factors

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