Discrimination, Sexual Violence, Depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Social Support among Black Women

Athena D.F. Sherman, Andrea N. Cimino, Monique Balthazar, Kalisha Bonds Johnson, Desirée D. Burns, Angie Denisse Otiniano Verissimo, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Kiyomi Tsuyuki, Jamila K. Stockman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Black Americans face significant discrimination associated with mental health disorder, which may be exacerbated among sexually victimized people. Social support may buffer that relationship. Methods. Cross-sectional data from a retrospective cohort study were analyzed to examine if discrimination and sexual victimization overlap to exacerbate symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and to determine the extent to which social support moderated that association among Black women living in Baltimore, Maryland [138 non-abused (no physical/ sexual victimization) and 98 abused (sexually victimized) since age 18]. Results. Symptoms of depression and PTSD were independently associated with discrimination. Multilinear regression showed social support from friends moderated the association between discrimination and depressive symptoms among sexually abused participants only. Conclusion. Discrimination may exacerbate symptoms of depression and PTSD more for sexually victimized Black women, but sources of informal social support may attenuate adverse effects of discrimination on depressive symptoms among members of that group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-57
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Black women
  • Depression
  • discrimination
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • racism
  • sexual violence
  • social support
  • victimization
  • women’s health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Discrimination, Sexual Violence, Depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Social Support among Black Women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this