Everyday Confrontation of Discrimination: The Well-Being Costs and Benefits to Women over Time

  •  Mindi Foster    


Taking action against discrimination has positive consequences for well-being (e.g., Cocking & Drury, 2004) but
most of this research has focused on collective actions and has used methodologies assessing one point in time.
This study therefore used a diary methodology to examine how women’s everyday confrontations of
discrimination would affect measures of subjective and psychological well-being, and how these relationships
would change over time. In a 28-day online diary study, women indicated their daily experience of
discrimination, described their response, and completed measures of well-being. Results showed that at the
beginning of the study, using indirect confrontation predicted greater well-being than using angered
confrontation. However, continued use of indirect and educational confrontation decreased well-being whereas
continued use of angered confrontation increased well-being over time. By the end of the study, using angered
confrontation predicted greater well-being than using indirect confrontation. Analyses of linguistic markers were
consistent with the explicit measures of well-being. Implications for distinguishing between types of
confrontations and integrating time analyses are discussed.

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