Internalized racial oppression as a moderator of the relationship between experiences of racial discrimination and mental distress among Asians and Pacific Islanders.

This brief report examined the relationship of racial/ethnic discrimination and internalized racial oppression with mental distress in a sample of Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) in Alaska, where APIs compose the third largest racial group after Whites and Native Americans/Alaska Natives. Methods involved a cross-sectional, self-administered survey of 225 adult APIs in three Alaskan communities with large API populations. A subsample of the respondents who experienced racial/ethnic discrimination (n = 123) was then selected to assess associations among mental distress, racial/ethnic discrimination, various manifestations of internalized racial oppression, and social support. The potential interaction between racial/ethnic discrimination and internalized inferiority (one manifestation of internalized oppression) in predicting mental distress was also tested. Results show that both racial/ethnic discrimination, r = .32, p < .01, and internalized inferiority, r = .22, p < .05, had a significant positive correlation with mental distress. Regression analysis indicates a significant interaction between racial/ethnic discrimination and internalized inferiority when predicting mental distress (β = 0.83, p < .001). This interaction suggests that with increasing levels of internalized inferiority, the link between racial/ethnic discrimination and mental distress was amplified. Future research implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)