Evaluating the Protective Role of Racial Identity in Children with Sickle Cell Disease

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Objective This study examined whether racial identity moderates the relation between pain and quality of life (QOL) in children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Methods 100 children 8–18 years of age with SCD participated during a regularly scheduled medical visit. Children completed questionnaires assessing pain, QOL, and regard racial identity, which evaluates racial judgments. Results Analyses revealed that regard racial identity trended toward significance in moderating the pain and physical QOL relation, (β = −0.159, t(93) = −1.821, p = 0.07), where children with low pain and high regard reported greater physical QOL than children with low pain and low regard. Regard racial identity did not moderate the relation between pain and other QOL dimensions. Pain significantly predicted all dimensions of QOL and regard racial identity significantly predicted social QOL. Conclusions Racial identity may be important to consider in future research examining QOL in children with SCD.

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