DOI: 10.1177/00957984231222313 ISSN: 0095-7984

African-Centered Spirituality as a Buffer of Psychological Symptoms Related to Specific Forms of Racism for African Americans

Tawanda M. Greer
  • Applied Psychology
  • Anthropology

The current study was designed to examine African-centered spirituality as a moderator of the effects of specific forms of racism on psychological outcomes for a sample of 201 African American adults. African-centered spirituality was hypothesized to influence the severity of racism-related psychological outcomes, such that greater use of this strategy would be associated with less severe psychological symptoms in relation to forms of racism exposure. Hierarchical regression analyses were performed to test the study hypotheses. Statistically significant interaction effects revealed that low use of African-centered spirituality was associated with greater severity in somatization, depression, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in relation to increased exposure to cultural and institutional racism. Significant interactions were also revealed between individual racism and African-centered spirituality in predicting obsessive-compulsive and somatization symptoms, which suggested that greater use of this strategy was associated with an increase in symptoms in relation to increased exposure to this form of racism. The overall findings suggest that high use of African-centered spirituality is not an effective coping strategy to manage all forms of racism.

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