Racial identity tied to happiness, study finds (but only for blacks)

Robert C. in Nashville writes:

Here is a link to Science Daily if you want to poke around and see numerous studies which assert that white racial discrimination against blacks is the reason (of course) for black depression, substance abuse, unhappiness and low self-esteem, etc, etc. The study currently highlighted shows that having a sense of black racial identity increases happiness—for blacks. But I suppose this is not allowed for whites!

LA replies:

The page you linked is laid out as though it were the site’s main page, creating the impression that the articles on black racial identity on that page are all that the site is about. But that’s not the case. It’s a huge site, covering all aspects of science. See the drop down menus across the top of the page. My guess is that they handed off the “race” section of the website to a black editor who is into black racial identity.

Here is the lead article on the page you linked:

Racial Identity Tied to Happiness, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2011)—African American people who identify more strongly with their racial identity are generally happier, according to a study led by psychology researchers at Michigan State University.

The study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, appears in the current issue of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, a research journal published by the American Psychological Association.

“This is the first empirical study we know of that shows a relationship between racial identity and happiness,” said Stevie C.Y. Yap, doctoral candidate in psychology at MSU and lead researcher on the project.

Previous research has found a relationship between racial identity and favorable outcomes such as self-esteem, Yap said, but none has made the link with happiness.

For the study, the researchers surveyed black adults in Michigan. The results suggest the more the participants identified with being black—or the more being black was an important part of who they are—the more happy they were with life as a whole, Yap said.

The study also explored the reasons behind the connection. Yap said it may be fueled by a sense of belongingness—that is, blacks with a strong sense of racial identity may feel more connected to their racial group, which in turn makes them happy.

This sense of belongingness is especially important for happiness in women, Yap said.

“For men, the potential factors relating identity to happiness is still an open question,” he said.

Yap’s fellow researchers are Isis Settles, MSU associate professor of psychology, and Jennifer Pratt-Hyatt, assistant professor of psychology at Northwest Missouri State University.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 15, 2011 09:54 AM | Send

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