The purpose of this dissertation research was to examine the associations among racial discrimination, social support, and psychological distress among Black pregnant women. The dissertation was guided by the Ecological Systems theory which has three domains that pertain to this research: individual, interpersonal, and community. A literature review was conducted to investigate what is known about the association between racial discrimination and psychological distress among Black pregnant women. This review found that seventeen of the nineteen studies included reported a positive association between racial discrimination and psychological distress among Black pregnant or postpartum women. Limited research focused on the potential moderating effect of social support on the association between racial discrimination with psychological distress among Black pregnant women. Using a cross-sectional design, this dissertation research examined the moderating effect of social support on the association of racial discrimination with psychological distress among a sample of 599 Black pregnant women. I found that experiences of racial discrimination were related to lower levels of social support and higher levels of psychological wellbeing among these women. Social support related to lower levels of psychological wellbeing; however, social support did not moderate the association of racial discrimination with psychological distress in this sample. Finally, I found that the most frequently reported experiences of discrimination were in a store or restaurant and on the street or public setting and the least frequently reported experience was getting medical care among women in this study. Women who reported discrimination in all, but one situation reported lower levels of psychological wellbeing compared with women who did not report discrimination in these situations. This dissertation research adds to the knowledge related to the associations among racial discrimination, social support, and psychological distress among Black pregnant women.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Nursing
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Carey, Camilla, "Racial Discrimination, Social Support and Psychological Distress among Black Pregnant Women" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1530.
Restricted to the UCF community until May 2024; it will then be open access.