Ethnic discrimination and mood
The thesis comprises of three sections relating to ethnic discrimination and depression. The first is a literature review on the relationship between discrimination and depression in Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. The second is a research report, which considers the utility of the concepts of external shame and belongingness in explaining the relationship between ethnic discrimination and depression. The third is a critical reflection on the process of the research. Literature review: The review found evidence of a cross-sectional association between discrimination and depression, but there was a lack of methodologically robust prospective studies. Subtle forms of discrimination were found to be as important as blatant forms. Ethnic identity was found to be a generally protective factor in the relationship between discrimination and depression. The process of perceiving discrimination was found to be complex and related to ethnic identity. The utility of considering depression in terms of positive and negative affect was recommended. Research Report: This section reports on a cross-sectional study that used self-report measures. The study sampled White British (WB) and BME students. The results supported a social ranking model of the relationship between discrimination and mood. External shame was found to mediate the relationship between ethnic discrimination and negative affect for the BME and WB groups and with positive affect for the BME group. The BME group was found to report a greater frequency of ethnic discrimination than the WB group. Ethnic discrimination had a greater psychological effect on the BME group than the WB. The results did not support belongingness to ethnic community mediating the relationship between discrimination and mood for either group.