A Network Approach to Assessing the Relationship between Discrimination and Daily Emotion Dynamics

Faith M. Deckard, Andrew Messamore, Bridget J. Goosby, Jacob E. Cheadle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Discrimination-health research has been critiqued for neglecting the endogeneity of reports of discrimination to negative affect and the multidimensionality of mental health. To address these challenges, we model discrimination’s relationship to multiple psychological variables without directional constraints. Using time-dense data to identify associational network structures allows for joint testing of the social stress hypothesis, prominent in discrimination-health literature, and the negativity bias hypothesis, an endogeneity critique rooted in social psychology. Our results show discrimination predicts negative emotions from day-to-day but not vice versa, indicating that racial discrimination is a risk factor and not symptom of negative emotion. Furthermore, we identify sadness, guilt, hostility, and fear as a locus of interrelated emotions sensitive to racism-related stressors that emerges over time. Thus, we find support for what race scholars have argued for 120+ years in a model without a priori directional restrictions and then build on this work by empirically identifying cascading mental health consequences of discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-356
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Psychology Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • daily diary
  • emotions
  • negativity bias hypothesis
  • network methods
  • racial discrimination
  • social stress hypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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