Author's Final Manuscript
Journal of Social Psychology
Racial discrimination contributes to stress-related health disparities among African Americans, but less is known about the acute effects of racial exclusion on the hypo-pituitary-adrenocortical response and psychological mediators. Participants were 276 Black/African American emerging-adults (54% female; Mage = 21.74, SD = 2.21) who were randomly assigned to be excluded or included by White peers via the game Cyberball. Racial exclusion (vs. inclusion) predicted: greater negative affect (F(1, 276) = 104.885, p < .0001), lower perceived control (F(1, 276) = 205.523, p < .0001), and greater cortisol release (F(1, 274) = 4.575, p= .033). Racial exclusion’s impact on cortisol release was mediated by lower perceived control (95% CI: .027, .112), but not negative affect (−.041, .013). These findings suggest that racial exclusion contributes to acute cortisol release, and that reduced perceived control is a consequence of racial discrimination that has important implications for the health of those who experience discrimination.
Peterson, Laurel M., Michelle L. Stock, Janet Monroe, Brianne K. Molloy-Paolillo, and Sharon F. Lambert. 2020. "Racial exclusion causes acute cortisol release among emerging-adult African Americans: The role of reduced perceived control." Journal of Social Psychology 160.5: 658-674.