Using data from the National Study of Daily Experiences, the authors examined racial differences in exposure and reactivity to daily stressors involving family members. Respondents included African American and European American adults age 34 to 84 (N = 1,931) who participated in 8 days of daily interviews during which they reported on daily stressors, affect, and physical health symptoms. The results revealed racial similarities in family stressor exposure. Both races were also emotionally reactive to family arguments and family network events (i.e., events that happen to a family member), whereas African Americans were more physically reactive to family arguments. For African Americans, reactivity to family arguments endured; the increased negative affect and physical symptoms associated with family arguments lasted into the next day. The findings provide evidence for racial similarities and differences, suggesting that family relationships are universally stressful, whereas the negative effects of family stressors are more enduring among African Americans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)