Functioning in the face of racism: Preliminary findings on the buffering role of values clarification in a Black American sample

Lindsey M. West, Jessica R. Graham, Lizabeth Roemer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


It is important to determine factors that may buffer the negative psychological consequences of perceived racial discrimination in a Black American sample. One potential factor is attention to and clarification of what is meaningful for the individual (i.e., values clarification). Fourteen Black American participants were recruited from a larger study where they had endorsed having experienced racism-related stress in response to experiences of perceived racial discrimination from service providers, in addition to inclusion criteria. Participants were randomly assigned to a values clarification (N=7) or control condition (N=7) and were presented with a racism-related stimulus before and after the experimental manipulation. The effects of values clarification on self-reported distress, positive, and negative affect was measured. Condition assignment had a marginally significant effect on overall subjective units of distress with a large effect size. Medium-sized effects were found on overall positive emotional responses and overall negative emotional responses. If a larger sample size supports the trends revealed in this study, it would indicate that values clarification can help buffer the negative psychological impact of perceived racial discrimination for Black Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Contextual Behavioral Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2013


  • Black American
  • Perceived racial discrimination
  • Values clarification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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