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scientific articles

Racism and Health-Related Quality of Life in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease: Roles of Depression and Support

key information

source: Journal of Pediatric Psychology

year: 2020

authors: Ifigenia Mougianis, Lindsey L Cohen, Sarah Martin, Caitlin Shneider, Meredith Bishop


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most commonly inherited blood disorder in the United States, and it predominately affects the Black community. SCD is characterized by a number of symptoms, including unpredictable pain, which can lead to hospitalizations. Data indicate that people with SCD experience racism and ample data indicate that racism predicts depressive symptoms and impaired health-related quality of life (HRQOL). In contrast, research suggests that social support might buffer the impact of racism on depression. The aim of this study was to explore associations among perceived racism, depressive symptoms, and HRQOL in adolescents with SCD. Consistent with the literature, it was predicted that perceived racism would predict HRQOL through depression, and social support would moderate the negative impact of racism on depression.

In a cross-sectional design, 75 inpatient adolescents with SCD completed measures of perceived racism, depressive symptoms, HRQOL, and social support.

This results indicated a moderated mediation model with greater perceived racism predicting more depressive symptoms, which in turn related to poorer HRQOL; greater access to social support from individuals with SCD strengthened the perceived racism—depressive symptom association.

organization: Kennedy Krieger Institute, USA; Georgia State University, USA; David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, USA

DOI: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsaa035

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