Weathering racism and colorism: Exploring concurrent and short-term longitudinal associations between discrimination, colorism, psychosocial health, and Black and Latinx emerging adults’ relationship satisfaction
Due to systemic racism, young adults of color have been disproportionately exposed to a myriad of environmental stressors. Given research suggesting that exposure to external stressors may influence how individuals evaluate their romantic relationships, the current study examined whether exposure to racial/ethnic discrimination is associated with how young adults of color appraise their partnerships. Using a sample of Black and Latinx young adults (N = 86), the current study examined whether exposure to racial/ethnic discrimination may be indirectly associated with romantic relationship satisfaction—due to its relation to anger and depressive symptoms. Concurrent analyses indicated that young adults who encountered increased exposure to racial/ethnic discrimination were likely to report greater feelings of anger, and in turn, lower relationship satisfaction. In contrast, short-term longitudinal analyses indicated that exposure to discrimination may have positive and negative implications for relationship satisfaction. Findings underscore the importance of extending literature on the effects of racial/ethnic discrimination beyond individual well-being to include interpersonal relationships and suggest that socioculturally-relevant factors such as skin tone may make the relation between discrimination and romantic relationship outcomes more nuanced.