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Department of Psychology


This study suggests the effects of perceived pervasiveness may be dynamic over time. The hypothesis was that participants who perceived discrimination to be highly pervasive would initially be more likely to engage in inactive coping strategies than those who perceived low pervasiveness. However, those who continued to perceive high pervasiveness over time would ultimately show greater evidence of using active strategies than those perceiving low pervasiveness. Using a 28-day diary, women and ethnic minorities described their daily experiences of discrimination and indicated their appraisals of its pervasiveness as well as their coping strategies. Results showed that participants who initially perceived low pervasiveness reported more active coping and religion use as well as less behavioral disengagement than those initially perceiving high pervasiveness. However, this pattern was reversed by the end of the study. Implications for integrating “time” into the assessment of coping with discrimination are discussed.