All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Patricia Drentea

Advisory Committee Members

William C Cockerham

Mark E Lagory

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2018

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Caribbean societies often speak to the in-between, acknowledging the race categories that exist between and within the “black” or “white” designations. But outside of this context and particularly in American society, individuals from the Caribbean pursue identity through a more categorical approach. What influences these decisions is often the occupied status of families. These occupied statuses offer different advantages and disadvantages, which can inform perceptions/experiences of daily stressors. Using a modified version of Pearlin’s stress process model, this research assesses how ethnic self-identification colors perceptions of stressors such as discrimination, and how this in turn influences one’s depressive symptomatology. Using cross sectional data (N=1,092) from the second wave of the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (1991-2006), this research examines the association between perceived discrimination and depressive symptomatology among the children of Caribbean immigrants. The average age of the participants in the second wave is 14 years old. Four identity groups are used from the study to evaluate the role that ethnic self-identification plays in perceiving discrimination. The four groups included are White Cubans, Hispanic Cubans, Black Antilleans and Non-Black Antilleans. The findings suggest that an increase in perceived discrimination is associated with an increase in depressive symptoms. Moreover, variations in depression score exist among the racial/ethnic groups, with those identifying as Non-Black Antillean experiencing greater depression than the other 3 groups, and those identifying as White Cuban experiencing the lowest depression levels. The associations discovered have implications for better understanding the second generation, and also elucidate how race and ethnicity shape adolescent perceptions of discrimination.

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