Resilience to Stressful Life Events in Middle Aged and Older African Americans

TitleResilience to Stressful Life Events in Middle Aged and Older African Americans
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsBrown, SA
Academic DepartmentPsychology
DegreeMaster of Arts
Number of Pages52
UniversityUniversity of Hawai'i at Manoa
Thesis Typephd
ISBN Number9781085623544
Keywords0296:African American Studies, 0349:Psychobiology, 0384:Behavioral psychology, 0493:Aging, 0573:Public health, 0622:Clinical psychology, 0625:Personality psychology, 0989:Physiological psychology, African American studies, Aging, Behavioral psychology, Clinical Psychology, Discrimination, Personality psychology, Physiological psychology, Psychobiology, Public Health, Resilience, Stressful Life Events

African Americans in later-life have had a life time of exposure to both typical stressful life experiences and racial discrimination and are at risk for exposure to stressors related to old age. Religiosity and eudiamonic well-being are potentially two useful protective resources for this community. This study analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Study to test a main effects model and a double moderation model of the relationship between stress, discrimination, protective factors, and later-life well-being, using a series of four-step linear regression analyses. In line with the hypotheses, both stressful life events and discrimination showed negative main effects on later-life well-being. There also was support for a two-staged moderation effect in which high levels of discrimination exacerbated the negative effects of stressful life events on depression, but people with moderate and high levels of religiosity demonstrated resilience to these effects. Eudamonic well-being was associated with positive well-being but was not supported as a moderator. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.


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