Psychophysiological Stress Responses to Bicultural and Biracial Identity Denial

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2019-10-26 21:52Z by Steven

Psychophysiological Stress Responses to Bicultural and Biracial Identity Denial

Journal of Social Issues
First published: 2019-08-14
DOI: 10.1111/josi.12347

Analia F. Albuja, Social Psychology Ph.D. Student
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Sarah E. Gaither, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Diana T. Sanchez, Associate Professor of Psychology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Brenda Straka, Ph.D. Student
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Rebecca Cipollina, Social Psychology Ph.D. Student
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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Bicultural and biracial individuals (those who identify either with two cultures or two races) are often denied membership in the groups with which they identify, an experience referred to as identity denial. The present studies used an experimental design to test the effects of identity denial on physiological and self‐reported stress, and naturalistic behavioral responses in a controlled laboratory setting for both bicultural (Study 1; N = 126) and biracial (Study 2; N = 119) individuals. The results suggest that compared to an identity‐irrelevant denial, bicultural participants who were denied their American identity and Minority/White biracial individuals who were denied their White identity reported greater stress and were more likely to verbally reassert their identity. Bicultural participants also demonstrated slower cortisol recovery compared to those in the identity‐irrelevant denial condition. The results are the first to highlight the negative physical health consequences of identity denial using an experimental design for both bicultural and biracial populations, underscoring the necessity to promote belongingness and acceptance.

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Identity Denied: Comparing American or White Identity Denial and Psychological Health Outcomes Among Bicultural and Biracial People

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2018-08-14 18:19Z by Steven

Identity Denied: Comparing American or White Identity Denial and Psychological Health Outcomes Among Bicultural and Biracial People

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
First Published 2018-08-07
DOI: 10.1177/0146167218788553

Analia F. Albuja
Department of Psychology
Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey

Diana T. Sanchez, Associate Professor of Psychology
Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey

Sarah E. Gaither, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Because bicultural and biracial people have two identities within one social domain (culture or race), their identification is often challenged by others. Although it is established that identity denial is associated with poor psychological health, the processes through which this occurs are less understood. Across two high-powered studies, we tested identity autonomy, the perceived compatibility of identities, and social belonging as mediators of the relationship between identity denial and well-being among bicultural and biracial individuals. Bicultural and biracial participants who experienced challenges to their American or White identities felt less freedom in choosing an identity and perceived their identities as less compatible, which was ultimately associated with greater reports of depressive symptoms and stress. Study 2 replicated these results and measured social belonging, which also accounted for significant variance in well-being. The results suggest the processes were similar across populations, highlighting important implications for the generalizability to other dual-identity populations.

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