Does racial identity explain the buffering impact of racial socialization on discrimination?
Two variables under the group identification construct have received the most attention in research as significant protective factors moderating the discrimination to distress link: racial identity and racial socialization (Lee & Ahn, 2013; Pascoe & Richman, 2009). These variables are assumed to be related to one another such that an individual’s racial identity is a result of their racial socialization (Katz, 2013). However, there exist surprisingly few studies aimed directly at explicating this relationship, and even less so exploring how this relationship impacts the discrimination to distress link. This study aimed to build upon past findings and fill this gap in the literature by providing both a longitudinal and an integrative exploratory model examining not only direct effects, but also moderation and mediation pathways of racial socialization and racial identity on the discrimination to distress link. Results were inconclusive. Although racial identity significantly moderated the discrimination to distress link, racial socialization did not, making mediation analyses difficult. Findings highlighted a need for continued research and implications and future directions for researchers are discussed.