Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Lizzie O'Rourke

Second Advisor

Leslie Halpern Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Elana Gordie Ph.D.

Abstract

Perceived ethnic discrimination (PED), a type of race-based social stress, is conceptualized as a subjective experience of discrimination based on phenotype, linguistic, or cultural characteristics. As an environmental stressor, it is associated with the same negative outcomes as other stressors such as greater depressive and anxious symptoms, poorer academic performance, and poorer health outcomes. Previous research has focused on PED’s association with mental and physical health outcomes, but cognitive factors (i.e., cognitive ruminations, coping strategies, executive functioning) that might mediate or moderate outcomes have received less attention. Moreover, while some research has investigated the associations of anger rumination and perceived discrimination on depression, anxiety, and aggression, the relations of depressive rumination and PED to negative emotions in an emerging adult sample have not been extensively studied. Therefore, this study's goal was to explore how cognitive factors such as anger and depressive rumination and PED contribute to negative emotions (anxiety, depression, and aggression), in both ethnic minority and White emerging adults. This study also investigated gender differences in rumination, perceived discrimination, and negative emotional outcomes.

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