Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Elizabeth M. Lane, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Tanisha Hill-Jarrett, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Patricia Dixon, Psy.D.


Lifetime racism is a type of chronic stress that is often accompanied by depression. Racism is the experience of many Black men because of several psychosocial stressors such as reduced resources and institutional barriers, to name a few. Active coping is typically utilized by Black men as a consistent means to reduce the negative outcomes linked to racism, however, this up-tempo coping style can contribute to poor cardiovascular health and cognitive impairment over time. The present study aimed to provide data to support the effects of lifetime racism and active coping on cardiovascular health and cognition. There were three hypotheses formulated: (a) there would be a relationship between lifetime racism, depression, and subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), (b) there would be a relationship between lifetime racism and vascular burden score (VBS), and (c) VBS would mediate the relationship between lifetime racism, John Henryism Active Coping (JHAC), and SCI. A supplemental research question was investigated to determine if a possible relationship would exist between lifetime racism and objective cognition in a subset of 20 participants based on effect sizes. The overall sample included 75 Black American men selected from a parent study on stress and cognition. Results found no significant difference between lifetime racism, depression, and SCI or lifetime racism and VBS, which affected the outcome of the third hypothesis. Although the overall mediation analysis was not significant, the third step in the mediation process uncovered a significant relationship between JHAC and SCI. Current findings support active coping in Black men, which may be affecting cognition. It was also determined that no significant relationship exists between lifetime racism and objective cognition. However, the data provides a baseline for future researchers to utilize in developing neuropsychological profiles for Black men regarding stress and cognition research.



Data collection and sharing for this project were funded by the University of South Florida Research & Innovation Internal Awards Program under Grant No. 0147451. This study is being led by Tanisha Hill-Jarrett, Ph.D., who is a neuropsychologist and Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida. This person is called the Principal Investigator of the original study No. 000984 Psychosocial Stress, Coping & Cognitive Outcomes: Gender Differences Among Black Men & Women. Dr. Tanisha Hill-Jarrett permitted data to be used in this clinical research project.