Psychosocial factors and mental health of Muslims living in the United States
Muslim Americans are at risk for experiencing systematic and interpersonal acts of discrimination (Rippy & Newman, 2006). Such experiences of discrimination can lead to the development of depressive symptoms. Thus, it is critical to understand factors that may influence the relationship between experiencing discrimination and developing depressive symptoms. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between psychosocial adversities (i.e., perceived discrimination), psychosocial resources (i.e., coping strategies, religious community support) and depressive symptoms. Hypotheses regarding both the relationships among the variables, as well as the mediating role psychosocial resources play in the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms were assessed. Muslim Americans (N=272) completed the survey, which was distributed online and in person. Using structural equation modeling, results revealed that high levels of perceived discrimination are related to lower levels of coping, which, in turn, are related to higher levels of depressive symptoms. Additionally, high levels of perceived discrimination are related to lower levels of religious community support, which itself is related to higher levels of depressive symptoms. The relationship between perceived discrimination is mediated by coping strategies and partially mediated by religious community support. There are gender differences between men and women in the mediating variables (i.e., coping strategies and religious community support) and depressive symptoms. Limitations of the study, and directions for future research as well as implications for counseling practice and advocacy with Muslim Americans are discussed.
Ciftci, Purdue University.
Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our