INTERPERSONAL AND PARK-BASED DISCRIMINATION AS PREDICTORS OF ANXIETY IN BLACK AND WHITE PHILADELPHIANS

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Author:
Mahlobo, Christa
Graduate Program:
Recreation, Park and Tourism Management
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
March 15, 2019
Committee Members:
  • Birgitta Baker, Thesis Advisor
  • Andrew Justin Mowen, Committee Member
  • Brendan Derrick Taff, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Black
  • park quality
  • park access
  • structural discrimination
  • mental health
  • gender
  • anxiety
Abstract:
Though access to quality public parks may be associated with reduced anxiety, disparities in either park access or park quality can potentially contribute to higher levels of anxiety. Additionally, the specific relationships of anxiety with institutional/park-based discrimination (as measured by low park access or quality) (PBD) and interpersonal discrimination (IPD) as they are moderated by gender and race have yet to be studied. We hypothesized that there would be a relationship between IPD, PBD and anxiety, and that this relationship would be moderated by race and gender. This paper used primary data collected through an online survey of Philadelphia residents. A general linear model (GLM) was used to examine PBD, IPD, race, gender, and the interactions between them as predictors of anxiety symptoms. Results indicated that IPD (p=.002), PBD (p=.013), and gender (p<0.01) were significantly associated with anxiety symptoms, but race (p=.12) was not. A two-way interaction also indicated a gender effect, revealing IPD was more significantly related to anxiety for men compared to women (p=.012). Overall, these results show that interpersonal and institutional discrimination are associated with anxiety and that addressing both types of discrimination is important in reducing anxiety.