Objective: This research examined the impact of perceived discrimination on ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) and daily-level affect during social interaction. Design: For 24 hours, adult African American and Caucasian participants wore an ABP monitor and completed palm pilot diary entries about their social interactions. Main Outcome Measures: Mean level and time-trend trajectories of blood pressure and heart rate were examined as well as mean level measures of positive and negative affect following stressful and nonstressful social interactions. Results: Analyses showed that, after controlling for important covariates, perceived discrimination predicted the slopes of both wake and nocturnal ABP responses, with those who reported more discrimination having steeper daytime trajectories for systolic and diastolic blood pressure and less nighttime dipping in heart rate over time as compared to those who had reported relatively infrequent discrimination. High levels of perceived discrimination were also related to positive and negative affective responses following stressful encounters. Conclusions: These results suggest that, regardless of race, perceived discrimination is related to cardiovascular and affective responses that may increase vulnerability to pathogenic processes.
Abstract This paper describes a new model that provides a framework for understanding people’s reactions to threats to social acceptance and belonging as they occur in the context of diverse phenomena such as rejection, discrimination, ostracism, betrayal, and stigmatization. People’s immediate reactions are quite similar across different forms of rejection in terms of negative affect and lowered self-esteem. However, following these immediate responses, people’s reactions are influenced by construals of the rejection experience that predict three distinct motives for prosocial, antisocial, and socially avoidant behavioral responses. We describe the relational, contextual, and dispositional factors that affect which motives determine people’s reactions to a rejection experience and the ways in which these three motives may work at cross-purposes. The multi-motive model accounts for the myriad ways in which responses to rejection unfold over time and offers a basis for the next generation of research on interpersonal rejection.
Perceived discrimination has been studied with regard to its impact on several types of health effects. This meta-analysis provides a comprehensive account of the relationships between multiple forms of perceived discrimination and both mental and physical health outcomes. In addition, this meta-analysis examines potential mechanisms by which perceiving discrimination may affect health, including through psychological and physiological stress responses and health behaviors. Analysis of 134 samples suggests that when weighting each study’s contribution by sample size, perceived discrimination has a significant negative effect on both mental and physical health. Perceived discrimination also produces significantly heightened stress responses and is related to participation in unhealthy and nonparticipation in healthy behaviors. These findings suggest potential pathways linking perceived discrimination to negative health outcomes.
Objective: Recent research suggests that past exposure to discrimination may influence perceptions of, and physiological responses to, new challenges. The authors examined how race and trait levels of hostility and optimism interact with past exposure to discrimination to predict physiological reactivity and recovery during an anger recall task. Design: A community sample of 165 normotensive Black and White adults participated in an anger recall task while having their cardiovascular function monitored. Main Outcome Measures: Blood pressure and heart rate indicators of physiological reactivity and recovery. Results and Conclusion: Participants had higher reactivity and slower recovery to the anger recall task when they had high past discrimination, low cynicism, or high optimism. The pattern of effects was similar for both racial groups, but Blacks had more acute reactivity and slower recovery than Whites. These results are consistent with the perspective of discrimination as a chronic stressor that is related to acute stress responses, particularly for Blacks.