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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

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Friday, March 6 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Race-Related stress and its relationship to obesity risk behaviors for emerging adult Black American women

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More than half (52.9%) of Black American women (BAW) over age twenty are labeled obese, compared with 37% of Black men and only 33% of White women. BAW’s sociocultural experience has been shown to be a critical social determinant of health. A facet of this sociocultural experience is racial microaggressions, which are small actions that communicate hostilities or disregard toward a person as a result of their ethnic identity. While microaggressions are often not overtly racist, they frequently result in higher sensitivity and increased internalizing responses in BAW. This internalization produces race-related stress. However, there has been limited research that directly examines how the internalization of that experience is linked to both maladaptive and health-promoting behaviors among BAW. This study examined how race-related stress is related to maladaptive health behaviors in emerging adult BAW. Specifically, is race-related stress a significant an independent predictor of exercise behavior and emotionally-driven eating habits? One hundred and seventy-nine BAW who identified as current college students or recent graduates (ages 18–25, m = 21) completed an anonymous online survey. A 3-step hierarchical linear regression with an R² = 0.31 found that emotional eating is a function of race-related stress (B=.241, p =.015 ) in addition to body anxiety (B=.27, p =.001 ) and depressive symptomology (B=.27, p =.004 ). Further, race-related stress is the only psychosocial variable related to health-promoting behaviors. Higher reported levels of race-related stress are associated with greater frequencies in swimming (r=.16), yoga (r=.19), and exercise machine use (r=.223). The ongoing experience of racial inequities and the resulting oppressive structures BAW must navigate through can be internalized and related to psychosocial well-being and physical health. The implications of these findings will be discussed with regard to targeted interventions to reduce health disparities.

Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm