In this report, we used a qualitative descriptive design to explore young African American adults’ intergenerationally influenced strategies to experienced racial discrimination.
The study was guided by a qualitative descriptive design using criterion and snowball sampling, and semi-structured interview questions. We also explored, quantitatively, gender differences among the racial discrimination experiences encountered and the strategies used.
Forty-nine participants included in this report were an average age of 29.5 (SD = 10.1). Racial discrimination experiences included daily microaggressions such as insensitive comments, stereotyping, exclusion from work and school activities, perceived low expectations, inequities in employment, and police profiling. Intergenerationally influenced strategies used in response to these experiences included religious beliefs and practices, positive reframing, and modeling behaviors used by previous generations. These intergenerationally influenced strategies enabled participants to remain calm, to express goodwill toward others, and to be patient and hopeful for a better future.
Since intergenerationally influenced strategies are likely potential sources of strength and resilience for young African Americans, knowledge of these strategies might be useful to health care practitioners seeking to improve the mental health care of this population.