Camara Jules P. Harrell Department of Psychology Howard University

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1 Camara Jules P. Harrell Department of Psychology Howard University

2 Dr. Vickie Shavers, NCI Dr. Tanisha Burford, University of Pittsburgh Ms. Renee Davis, Drs. Alfonso Campbell and Clive Callender, Howard University

3 The somewhat settled empirical terrain Taking on two challenges Defining mental health (Data) Conceptualizing discrimination and racism Some possible pathways: A framework (Data) Observation on mental health research from one fallen-away

4 Empirical Studies of Discrimination and Mental Health

5 Initial review of discrimination effects Krieger et al., 1993 Paradies (2006) 62 studies of mental health outcomes 72% significant association between mental health and self-report racism

6 Pascoe and Richman (2009) 110 Studies experience with perceived racism is related to poorer mental health status (p. 537) Williams and Mohammed (2009) Almost without exception, studies find that higher levels of discrimination are associated with poorer mental health status (p. 22)

7 Keys (2009) Blacks had higher level of overall mental health than whites Were it not for discrimination psychological wellbeing would be even higher for Blacks. (MIDUS data) Higher discrimination greater stress greater psychological well-being

8 Lesson from the Paradox Promise and problems of comparative research Revelations from within group analyses

9 Upside - Recognition of the role discrimination plays in mental health outcomes Downside - Focus on perceived, conscious, and episodic forms of racism

10 Conceptualizing Mental Health

11 DSM I-IV: A short history From theoretical system of constructs to specific descriptions for categorical assignment Wakefield s view: Harmful dysfunctions, Breakdown of selected mechanisms 5 Sounds of a pitched battle Categorical versus dimensional approaches

12 Advantages and problems with categories Overlap Reliability Construct validity Dimensional approaches

13 RDoC Research domain criteria framework (Sanislow, 2010) Locate mechanisms-fuse neuroscience with psychopathology Five possible dimensions Negative affect Social processes Positive affect Regulatory systems Cognition

14 gregariousness a 2 b -.08* NS loneliness a 1 b 1.26**.20** Perceived Racism c =.18** c =.11 NS Depression Lower Upper 95% CI a 1 b 1 path % CI a 2 b 2 path ** p <.01; * p <.05

15 Mental health more than an absence of psychopathology Positive Psychology as a source of markers of optimal functioning Relatively enduring disposition Growth-oriented measures

16 Character Strengths and Virtues The Big 6 characteristics that enable human thriving: Wisdom and Knowledge Courage Humanity Justice Temperance Transcendence

17 Persistent, often ignored call to include root indigenous culture values when defining mental health Disruptions and amputations of core cultural dynamics Cognitive schema of the oppressed Loss of contact with cultural deep structure Reduced capacity to critique oppressive forces

18 Nobles et al (2010) Appreciation of culture is essential to the success of conceptualizations of wellness and proffered interventions Example: African American health entails celebration of collective good, and spiritual (versus material) perspectives

19 Mental Health Conceptualized Cultural Core Diagnostic Status Character Strengths & Virtues

20 The Study of Racist Contexts

21 Williams (2010) recognized four important sociological contributions Challenged biological conceptualization of race Emphasized structural and contextual causes Recognized racism s multiple pathways Studied migratory histories

22 Levels of Racism Individual Racism Institutional Racism STRUCTURAL Internalized Racism Cultural Racism

23 Individual/ Institutional Racism Structural Racism Cultural Racism Stress and Coping Classical Conditioning Worry and Rumination Racist Cognitive Schema Subjective Stress Responses (States) Well-Being, Reduced Positive Dimensions, Negative Processing Predispositions (Traits)

24 Struc. Racism (SR) Mental Health (MH) Neutral eta 2 p contrast SR / MH Worry <.001 Rumin- ation <.001 Fear =.035

25 Observations

26 Mental health conceptualized to include cultural and positive dimensions Discrimination seen as but one outgrowth of multifaceted racism Laboratory and field work broadening studies of mental health and racism

27 Developing literature reveals effects of discrimination on mental health Light (and heat) generated as mental health is redefined Broadened views of racism s impact discernable in experimental and correlational designs Room for the apostatic of any stripe

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