Semester of Graduation

Spring 2021

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

African Americans have lower prevalence rates of anxiety disorders and are less likely to seek mental health treatment compared to Caucasians. Additionally, racial differences in levels of self-esteem have shown African Americans to have equivalent or higher levels compared to Caucasians. While researchers have concluded there are racial differences in the expressions of anxiety and self-esteem, they have not investigated the influence of an individual’s race on the relationship between levels of social anxiety and self-esteem. Additionally, researchers have yet to look at this effect and relationship across the life span. The current study investigated the effect of race on youth social anxiety (as measured by the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children) and child negative self-esteem (as measured by the Children’s Depression Inventory). 54 children were taken from an existing database at Louisiana State University. It was hypothesized that youth total reported anxiety would be correlated with youth total depressive symptoms and that African American youth would have a higher multivariate combination of negative symptoms. Further, it was hypothesized that African American youth would report higher negative self-esteem and social anxiety than Caucasian youth. Overall, youth total anxiety symptoms were positively correlated with youth total depressive symptoms and significant group differences were found. Additionally, African American youth reported significantly higher levels of social anxiety, but not significantly higher levels of negative self-esteem compared to Caucasian youth.

Committee Chair

Davis, Thompson

Available for download on Sunday, January 16, 2028

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