Clara Kaufmann

Professor Peterson


Exploring the relation between perceived racial discrimination and cardiovascular health of African American young adults: Analyzing the influence of social support

Health psychology is an expanding field with numerous studies examining the intersection of psychosocial influences, race, and health. Previous research on discrimination and health indicates that perceived discrimination contributes to various poor health outcomes including cardiovascular disease (e.g., hypertension), but less research focuses on these relationships among the emerging adult age cohort. The Health and Racial Discrimination in Daily Life (HRDDL) laboratory examines the potential health effects of discriminatory experiences on young adult African Americans, investigating whether general discrimination or day-to-day discrimination measured by ecological momentary assessment (i.e., field-based mobile technology data collection) better predicts physiological stress responses (i.e., elevated blood pressure (BP) and cortisol reactivity) among African American young adults. My SSR project will explore whether perceived racial discrimination is associated with elevated BP measures. I will conduct exploratory research examining whether social support moderates the relationship between perceived discrimination and BP, specifically whether ingroup interpersonal connections may mitigate any negative effects of discrimination on BP.

Keywords: Discrimination; Stress; Health; Blood Pressure; Social Support; Health Disparities; Cardiovascular Disease