Perceived Discrimination and Risk Behaviors in African American Students: the Potential Moderating Roles of Emotion Regulation and Ethnic Socialization. Academic Article uri icon


  • Prior research has identified perceived discrimination as being a contributing factor in health and mental health disparities. However, there is little research on the relationship between perceived discrimination and behaviors such as hazardous alcohol and illicit substance use and risky sexual behaviors that put people at risk for negative health consequences including HIV. The current research explores the role that cultural factors may play in a tendency for individuals to engage in unhealthy behaviors or an ability to avoid them. A total of 266 college students who self-identified as Black or African American were surveyed on measures of familial ethnic socialization, perceived discrimination, emotion regulation, substance use, and risky sexual behaviors. Findings indicate that perceived discrimination and emotion regulation-suppression were associated with higher levels of hazardous alcohol use, and that emotion regulation-cognitive reappraisal was associated with lower levels of illicit substance use. Implications for intervention and prevention in African American college students are discussed.

published proceedings

  • J Racial Ethn Health Disparities

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Heads, A. M., Glover, A. M., Castillo, L. G., Blozis, S., Kim, S. Y., & Ali, S.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Heads, Angela M||Glover, Angel M||Castillo, Linda G||Blozis, Shelley||Kim, Su Yeong||Ali, Sakina

publication date

  • April 2021