Coping with Racial Discrimination: A New Way of Social Media to be of Influence
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This study aims to answer the question, ‘does social media usage influence the impact of racial discrimination on mental health?’ Specifically, this study examines the impact that social media usage has on the relationship between self-reported racial discrimination and psychological distress. If social media usage does in fact influence this relationship, then this study would provide African Americans another way to deal with racial abuse. Experiences of discrimination were assed using the Williams Everyday Scale (Williams et al. 1997), a 10-question scale of self-reported discrimination encounters. Psychological distress is assessed using the Kessler 6 Scale (Kessler et al. 2002; 2003), a six-question scale of psychological wellbeing. For the purposes of this study, social media usage is defined by those who have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, and their frequency of usage. Data analysis was based on a sample of 220 African American adult respondents residing in Texas (TDS, Keith and Campbell 2015). Results indicate that African Americans reporting higher levels of racial discrimination are more likely to meet the criteria for psychological distress than those who report lower levels of discrimination. However, social media usage buffers this relationship and results in lower levels of psychological distress among those reporting high levels of racial discrimination. Together, these findings suggest that social media can be a form of coping to mitigate the effects of racial discrimination on mental health.
El-Amin, Lincoln-Abdullah Hasan (2020). Coping with Racial Discrimination: A New Way of Social Media to be of Influence. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from