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Striving while Black: Race and the Psychophysiology of Goal Pursuit

Citation

DeAngelis, Reed T. (2020). Striving while Black: Race and the Psychophysiology of Goal Pursuit. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 61(1), 24-42. PMCID: PMC7163923

Abstract

Population health scientists have largely overlooked anticipatory stressors and how different groups of people experience and cope with anticipatory stress. I address these gaps by examining black-white differences in the associations between an important anticipatory stressor-goal-striving stress (GSS)-and several measures of psychophysiology. Hypotheses focusing on racial differences in GSS and psychophysiology are tested using self-report and biomarker data from the Nashville Stress and Health Study (2011-2014), a cross-sectional probability survey of black and white working-age adults from Davidson County, Tennessee (n = 1,252). Compared to their white peers, blacks with higher GSS report greater self-esteem and fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, increased GSS also predicts elevated levels of high-effort coping (i.e., John Henryism), neuroendocrine stress hormones, and blood pressure for blacks but not whites. I discuss the implications of these findings for scholars interested in the stress process and broader black-white health inequalities in the United States.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022146520901695

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Health and Social Behavior

Author(s)

DeAngelis, Reed T.

Year Published

2020

Volume Number

61

Issue Number

1

Pages

24-42

PMCID

PMC7163923

NIHMSID

NIHMS1573988

Reference ID

12628