Emotion centered racial coping and child development
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Victims of racist incidents can experience a host of negative emotions and how those emotions are processed is an integral part to one's well-being and mental health (Lewis et. al., 2015; Paradies et. al., 2015). Although a general body of emotion processing research has been established regarding general social contexts (Gross, 1998; Gross et al. 2011; Gross 2013), there is little research that explores the differentiation in emotion processing in response to racist experiences, or emotion centered racial coping (Dunbar et al., 2017). The current study explored the impact of emotion centered racial coping on the relationship between racism and anxiety, depression, academic self-competence, and math and reading scores. A sample of adults aged 31- 34 (n = 262), part of a larger longitudinal study, reported on the types of emotion centered racial coping messages they received during their childhood. Self-report data for racism, anxiety, depression, academic self-competence, and math and reading scores were collected at grade 12. Findings suggested that emotion centered racial coping (emotion focused type) was the most widely used compared to emotion suppression and emotion expression. Moreover, emotion centered racial coping (emotion focused type) predicted academic self-competence. Lastly, emotion centered racial coping (emotion focused type) significantly moderated the relationship between racism and depression for girls and the relationships between racism and math scores for boys. Implications for emotion centered racial coping and psychoeducational outcomes in addition to direction for caregivers, mental health practitioners and educators are discussed.