Does Centrality Moderate the Relation Between Skin Tone Satisfaction and Psychological Adjustment for Latinx Blacks and Non-Latinx Blacks?

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Few studies have examined the similarities and differences between individuals from across the African diaspora in terms of racial identity and skin tone and how these might influence psychological adjustment (i.e., depression, anxiety, and positive affect). We explored this question in a sample of 326 Latinx black and non-Latinx black participants from the Northeast. Due to different ethnic identities, and possibly socialization experiences, we hypothesized that Latinx blacks would report lower levels of skin tone satisfaction and black racial centrality compared to non-Latinx blacks. For the same reason, we also hypothesized that the relationship between skin tone satisfaction and adjustment would be moderated by racial centrality such that it would be more protective for non-Latinx blacks than Latinx blacks. As expected, Latinx blacks reported significantly lower skin tone satisfaction (despite perceiving themselves as lighter) and black centrality compared to non-Latinx blacks. Skin tone satisfaction, but not black centrality, emerged as a significant predictor of psychological adjustment for the combined sample. Importantly, findings also revealed that while centrality was a protective factor for non-Latinx blacks, it was less impactful for Latinx blacks and may have functioned as a vulnerability factor. This study represents an important first step in disentangling important group differences within the African diaspora that can help inform research and treatment.


Race and Social Problems



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