The Impact of World Assumptions on the Association between Discrimination and Internalizing and Substance Use Outcomes

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This study investigated whether core beliefs about the world being safe and predictable (i.e. world assumptions) mediated the association between discrimination and internalizing and substance use problems among individuals from marginalized groups. Path analyses tested mediating effects of four types of world assumptions on the association between discrimination (race-, gender-, and sexual orientation-based) and anxiety, depression, alcohol and cannabis problems in college students (N = 1,181, agemean = 19.50, SD = 1.67). Limited support for mediation by world assumptions was found: among Asian students, race-based discrimination indirectly impacted anxiety symptoms through low perceived controllability of events. Direct effects across groups and discrimination types were also found.