Purdue University Graduate School

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Daily Experiences of Racial Microaggressions and Health Outcomes Among Black Adolescents: A Daily Diary Study

posted on 2023-08-30, 20:12 authored by Richelle CliftonRichelle Clifton

Racial microaggressions are associated with multiple negative health outcomes, including increased distress, anxiety (Blume et al., 2012; Schoulte et al., 2011), and substance use (Su et al., 2019). The negative effects of racial microaggressions have been observed through daily assessments (Burrow & Ong, 2010; Ong et al., 2009; Swim et al., 2003). However, these studies have been conducted almost exclusively among Black adults. Thus, the first aim of the current study is to examine the impact of daily experiences of racial microaggressions on health outcomes among Black adolescents. Further, it is also important to examine factors that might influence the relationship between racial microaggressions and health outcomes. One factor that has received a considerable amount of attention is racial identity, with more recent studies examining the impact of racial identity profiles. Thus, the second aim of the current study was to explore variability in these risk pathways based on racial identity profiles. Participants were Black adolescents (N = 48; 79.2% girls; Mage=17.13). Respondents completed measures of racial identity at baseline and daily diary measures of racial microaggressions, depression, anxiety, aggression, and substance use for 14 days. Participants reported an average of 5.56 experiences of racial microaggressions per day. Neither concurrent or lagged-day associations between racial microaggressions and symptoms of depression or symptoms of anxiety were significant. Concurrent analyses indicated that the between-person effect of racial microaggressions on aggression was significant (estimate=0.345, SE=0.138, t=2.495, p=0.016), and that effect was still evident one day later (estimate=0.107, SE=0.040, t=2.686, p=0.007). The concurrent, within-person effect of racial microaggressions on cannabis use was also significant (OR=1.524, 95%CI[0.103, 0.740], p=0.010). Four racial identity profiles were identified (labeled race- focused, undifferentiated, integrationist, and multiculturalist) and a number of effects were significant within profiles. This study further highlighted that Black youth are experiencing an overwhelming number of racial microaggressions on a daily basis. Additionally, this project represents a crucial step in advancing our understanding of how racial microaggressions operate to influence health outcomes among Black adolescents on the daily level and highlights several areas for needed study and intervention. 


American Psychological Association, Division 38 Graduate Student Research in General Health Psychology Award


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Psychological Sciences

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Tamika C.B. Zapolski

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Jesse C. Stewart

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. India R. Johnson

Additional Committee Member 4

Dr. Matthew C. Aalsma

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