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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Discrimination and Negative Affective: The Additional Burden of Daily Stressors

  • Author(s): Kaur, Amandeep
  • Advisor(s): Charles, Susan T
  • et al.

Few studies have examined how different forms of discrimination intersect with nondiscrimination-related stressors to impact levels of emotional distress. As such, this study examined the synergistic effect of everyday discrimination and lifetime discrimination on daily

negative affect in the presence of non-discrimination-related daily stressors. Data (N = 2,022) were from the second wave of the Survey of Midlife Development in the US (MIDUS) and the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE). Participants completed questionnaires on their everyday and lifetime experiences of discrimination. Participants also completed daily phone interviews asking about their non-discrimination-related daily stressors and negative affect across eight consecutive days. Multilevel model analyses revealed that both lifetime discrimination and everyday discrimination, as well as non-discrimination-related daily stressors, were associated with increased levels of daily negative affect. Additionally, everyday discrimination was significantly associated with greater negative affect on days when people experienced any daily, non-discrimination-related stressor. Findings showed that daily and discrimination-related stressors are independently associated with stressor-related daily negative affect. However, results also point to the importance of considering the synergistic effects of discrimination and non-discrimination related daily stressors on daily emotional experiences. Future studies should clarify how non-discrimination-related daily stressors may exacerbate the adverse effects of different forms of discrimination on health outcomes.

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