Compared to their White counterparts, Blacks experience more daily and lifetime stress (Myers & Hwang, 2004; Slopen, Sternthal, & Williams, 2011). While all people experience daily and lifetime stressors, Black individuals may also experience microagressions, lifetime stressors such as historical trauma, racial stressors, systematic discrimination, and other forms of stressors, we must consider how such stressors compound and impact Black individuals (Slopen, Sternthal, & Williams, 2011). Such stressors can lead to significant health disparities for Black individuals (Geronimus, 2007). While attempts are being made to improve the health disparities in the United States, racial, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities remain (CDC, 2013). The Center for Disease Control (CDC, 2013) indicates that as a group, the life expectancy of Blacks has increased since 1999; however, there was also an increase in chronic conditions, which negatively impacted quality of life. An increase in life expectancy can be linked to the improvements in health care, while an increase in chronic illnesses for Black individuals can be linked to the experience of additive stress (CDC, 2013). Several hypotheses have been offered to explain the experience of stress in Blacks. Three hypotheses will be defined below to give a general understanding of these perspectives.
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