Behrendt-Mihalski, J. (2017). An examination of the moderating role of gendered racial identity centrality in the relationship between gendered racism and depression. Unc Charlotte Electronic Theses And Dissertations.
Black women experience both racism and sexism, and these experiences have been found to be related to psychological distress and impairment. While research has pointed to the independent negative effects of racism and sexism on mental health, there is a dearth of research exploring the intersecting experience of racism and sexism (i.e., gendered racism) and its mental health consequences for Black women. Intersectionality offers a framework to understand the overlap of identities (e.g., race, gender) and oppressions (e.g., racism, sexism) on individuals’ lived experiences. Gendered racism reflects the unique intersection of racism and sexism and, in Black women, the experience of gendered racism has been found to be related to negative mental health outcomes. Further, previous research has found that viewing race as a central aspect of one’s self-concept (i.e., strong racial identity centrality) may act as a buffer against stress in the relationship between racism and psychological challenges; however, a review of the literature yielded only one study that examined this relationship in the context of gendered racism in Black women. The goal of this study was to identify psychological and social influences on the relationship between gendered racism and depressive symptoms in Black women. The present study used a cross-sectional design to examine the relationship between gendered racism and depressive symptoms in Black women and the degree to which gender centrality and gendered racial centrality moderates this relationship. Findings from this study indicate that frequent experiences of gendered racist events and higher levels of stress appraisal of these events were associated with signficantly higher levels of reported depressive symptoms; however, neither gender centrality nor gendered racial centrality moderated these relationships. The present study helps to elucidate the relationship between Black women’s experiences of discrimination and their mental health functioning and highlights the lack of attention that previous research has given to this area of research.