Development and Validation of a Questionnaire to Measure Discrimination Reactivity
- Author(s): Blevins, Kennedy Marie
- Advisor(s): Yim, Ilona S;
- Pressman, Sarah D
- et al.
Development and Validation of a Questionnaire to Measure Discrimination Reactivity by Kennedy Marie Blevins Master of Arts in Psychological Science University of California, Irvine, 2021 Professor Ilona S. Yim, Chair
Background: Experiencing discrimination is a salient psychosocial stressor linked with a number of negative health outcomes. The current study describes a novel measure, the Discrimination Reactivity Questionnaire (DRQ), aimed at capturing reactivity to discrimination across a broad range of discriminatory domains. Past tools have been specific to one type of discrimination and/or event-related tools, thus a broader assessment approach may be advantageous in examining a more holistic experience of discrimination and the health and stress consequences of this broader experience. The main aims of the study were to: 1) develop a questionnaire to measure discrimination reactivity and determine underlying dimensions of discrimination reactivity; 2) assess the reliability and validity of the new scale; and 3) determine the statistical predictive ability of the DRQ, providing a more nuanced understanding of the interconnections between discrimination experiences and well-being. Methods: Participants (N = 433) completed questionnaires assessing discrimination, depressive symptoms and physical symptoms, along with the DRQ. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine the underlying dimensions of discrimination reactivity. Secondly, the DRQ was correlated with established measures of discrimination and psychosocial constructs typically associated with discrimination experiences. Lastly, simple regressions were conducted with the DRQ entered as a predictor of depressive and physical symptoms. Simple regressions were then stratified by the reason for experiencing discrimination. Hierarchical regressions were conducted with the Krieger Experience of Discrimination Scale (EOD) and the Everyday Discrimination Scale (EDS) entered together in the first set of predictors, and the DRQ entered as a second predictor. Results: After the scale was developed and tested on subjects, the factor analysis retained four factors: rumination, social stress, heightened vigilance, and emotional-physiological reactivity. All scales were calculated using a sum score. The overall DRQ was correlated with the EOD, r = .35, n = 425, p < .001, and EDS r = .41, n = 426, p < .001. The DRQ was associated with depressive symptoms (R2 = .09, F(1, 426) = 41.87, p < .001) and physical symptoms (R2 = .03, F(1, 421) = 14.27, p < .001). Discrimination reactivity was associated with depressive symptoms for individuals who identified ‘Race/Ethnicity/Culture’ (R2 = .09, F(1, 210) = 19.54, p < .001), ‘Sex/Gender’ (R2 = .20, F(1, 50) = 12.50, p = .001), ‘Age’ (R2 = .10, F(1, 43) = 4.50, p = .04), or ‘Income/Social Class’ (R2 = .15, F(1, 34) = 5.75, p = .02) as their main reason for experiencing discrimination. Discrimination reactivity was associated with physical symptoms for individuals who identified ‘Race/Ethnicity/Culture’ (R2 = .05, F(1, 208) = 9.77, p = .002), ‘Sex/Gender’ (R2 = .12, F(1, 49) = 6.63, p = .01), or ‘Religion’ (R2 = .14, F(1, 27) = 4.28, p = .05) as their main reason for experiencing discrimination. Hierarchical regressions showed that the DRQ accounted for 5% of the variability in depressive symptoms, above and beyond the EOD and EDS, (ΔR2 = .05, ΔF(1, 420) = 21.48, p < .001). Controlling for the EOD and EDS, for every 1 unit increase in DRQ score, depressive symptom score increased by .24 (b = .20, ß = .24, 95% CIBoot (0.12, 0.29), t(420) = 4.63, p < .001). Conclusion: The DRQ is associated with depressive symptoms and may add explanatory power beyond existing measures. The association between discrimination and depressive and physical symptoms may differ based on the reason an individual experiences discrimination. Keywords: discrimination, discrimination reactivity, stress reactivity, scale development