Race and Gender Discrimination in the Marines.

Although women of color have been hypothesized to experience double jeopardy in the form of chronic exposure to both race-based (RBD) and gender-based discrimination (GBD; Beal, 1970), few empirical investigations that examine both RBD and GBD in multiple comparison groups have been conducted. In addition to being one of the only simultaneous examinations of RBD and GBD in multiple comparison groups, the current study includes both self-report and objective behavioral data to examine the independent and interactive effects of both forms of discrimination. A study published recently in Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology is the first of its kind to examine these constructs in these ways and to explore their impact in a unique sample of ethnically diverse male and female Marine recruits (N = 1,516). As anticipated, both RBD and GBD had a strong and consistent negative impact on mental health symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety), independent of the contributions of gender and race. Partial support was found for the hypothesis that people of color are able to maintain resiliency (as measured by physical fitness testing) in the face of low levels of RBD, but are less able to overcome the negative effects of discrimination at high levels. It is interesting to note that the interaction between race, gender, and levels of discrimination was only found with objective physical fitness test scores but not with self-report measures. These findings underscore the importance of including objective measures when assessing the impact of discrimination in order to understand these complex interrelationships.

For the abstract

           

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