Historical Representations and Psychological Distress Among Africans in Europe : The Mediation Role of Perceived Discrimination


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Historical representations are central to individuals’ psychological functioning. Empirical advances have demonstrated the link between historical memories and psychological distress. However, research on historical representations and their impact on the psychological functioning of the African people is limited. This study examined the relationship between internalised historical representations (e.g. colonialism and slavery) and psychological distress among Africans, and the mediational role of the perception of discrimination in this relationship. We hypothesised that historical representations relate to psychological distress and that the perception of discrimination mediates this effect. Consistent with our prediction, historical representations were associated with increased psychological distress. In part, the perception of ethnic discrimination explains the relationship between historical representations and psychological distress. This report highlights the effects of historical representations and ethnic discrimination on the psychological distress of Africans living in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1422-1427
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number7
Early online date13 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Dr Andrew Moynihan of the University of Limerick for his intellectual guidance and support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Africans
  • Discrimination
  • Historical representations
  • Psychological distress


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