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Ann Behav Med. 2006 Aug;32(1):1-9.

Interactive effects of perceived racism and coping responses predict a school-based assessment of blood pressure in black youth.

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1
Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Research indicates that perceived racism and coping responses are associated with basal blood pressure (BP) levels and BP reactivity in Black adults. No study could be found, however, that has explored the independent and interactive effects of perceived racism and coping responses in a cohort who probably has the greatest risk of developing primary hypertension--Black youth.

PURPOSE:

This study examined the relationship of perceived racism and coping responses to a continuous measure of BP and to a categorical measure of BP status (normal vs. high-normal or high).

METHODS:

The convenience sample consisted of 217 Black youth (M age = 11.4 years, SD = 1.3). Participants reported on perceived racism and coping responses (Accepting It, Self-Blame, Taking Action, and Talking to Someone). BP was assessed with an automated monitor in school.

RESULTS:

Approximately 32% of the sample had average BP levels that were high-normal or high. Hierarchical linear and logistic regression analyses were used to assess the predictive utility of perceived racism and the four coping responses to the continuous and categorical BP assessments. Although perceived racism and the coping response variables did not emerge as significant independent predictors in the linear or logistic regression analyses, perceived racism interacted with Accepting It (p = .009) in the linear regression analysis predicting systolic BP. Follow-up linear regression analyses indicated that perceived racism was not significantly associated with systolic BP among participants low in Accepting It but was inversely related to systolic BP among participants high in Accepting It. Perceived racism also interacted with Accepting It (p = .016) and Talking to Someone (p = .0009) in the logistic regression analysis predicting BP status. Follow-up logistic regression analyses revealed that (a) perceived racism was not significantly associated with BP status among participants low in Accepting It but was inversely related to BP status among participants high in Accepting It, and (b) perceived racism was inversely associated with BP status among participants low in Talking to Someone but was not significantly related to BP status among participants high in Talking to Someone.

CONCLUSIONS:

The contribution of environmental and psychosocial factors to hypertension risk should be considered when exploring correlates of continuous and categorical assessments of BP in Black youth.

PMID:
16827624
DOI:
10.1207/s15324796abm3201_1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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