Background: Assumptions regarding within-race variation in the associations between measures of discrimination racism and health-related behaviors among African Americans have been largely unexplored. Methods: We conducted secondary analyses of two studies to examine support for a model which describes several theoretical moderators of the effects of discrimination and racism on health behaviors. The first study examined the effects of group-based behavioral information and racial identity on the association between perceived racism and requests for at home colorectal cancer screening tests among a sample of 205 geographically diverse African Americans who participated in an online experiment from 2019 to 2020. Results: Group-based behavioral information attenuated the association between perceived racism and requests for at-home screening kit. In the absence of group-based behavioral information, perceived racism was positively associated with screening kit requests for African Americans with weaker racial identity and negatively associated with requests for African Americans with stronger racial identity. The second study examined the influence of personal and group-based perceived discrimination, and behavior-relevant affective information related to a breast cancer risk notification, on 89 Michigan dwelling African American women's self-reported physician communication from 2015 to 2016. Results showed that perceived group-based discrimination was positively associated with physician communication in the absence of negative affective information, and perceived personal discrimination was negatively associated with physician communication as positive affective information increased. Conclusions: Together, these results support our theoretical model highlighting variation in the effects of discrimination and racism on health behaviors among African Americans, and indicates group-relevant behavioral information, racial identity, behavior relevant affective information, and target of discrimination as moderators of the effect. Implications for conceptualizing the effects of racism and discrimination and for examining racially targeted interventions are discussed.
- African Americans
- Health behavior
- Perceived group-based discrimination
- Perceived racism
- Racial identity