The Influence of Black Identity on Wellbeing and Health Behaviors.


BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of Black identity on wellbeing and health behaviors. METHODS Data from the third year (wave) of a longitudinal cohort study (N = 1316) from a large, majority Black, Protestant church of 16,000 members located in Houston, Texas, were used to conduct secondary data analyses. Univariate analyses were used to obtain participants' sociodemographic and health characteristics. ANCOVA and linear regression analyses and Bonferroni adjustments were used to examine the influence of the centrality, public and private regard aspects of Black identity as measured by the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity subscales on wellbeing (CES-D scores and self-reported general health) and health behaviors (diet and physical activity levels). RESULTS Associations were noted between fruit consumption and centrality (F (95,1216) = 2.27) p = .046); soda consumption and private regard (F (5,1214) = 3.04; p = .010); public regard (F (2,1186) = 4.70; p = .009) and physical activity levels; self-reported general health status and private (F (4,1219) = 4.78; p = .001) and public regard (F (4,1211) = 8.53; p < .001). Psychological wellbeing was negatively associated with regard (private (B = -0.030; p < .001) and public regard (B = -0.060; p < .001)). CONCLUSION Findings suggest that racial identity remain an important factor to consider in addressing health disparities. Racial identity influences mental health, general health, diet and the physical activity levels. Utilizing identity congruent health promotion interventions may positively impact mental, exercise levels, self-reported general health and diet.

DOI: 10.1007/s40615-017-0412-7

Cite this paper

@article{Lewis2017TheIO, title={The Influence of Black Identity on Wellbeing and Health Behaviors.}, author={Fiona B Lewis and Marie-Claire Boutrin and Lisa Dalrymple and Lorna Haughton McNeill}, journal={Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities}, year={2017} }