As an initial step, descriptive statistics including means and standard deviations and bivariate correlations for discrimination, medical mistrust, conspiracy beliefs, and COVID-19 distancing behaviors were evaluated. We also assessed frequencies of experiences relevant to individuals’ health and pandemic-related experiences, such as getting tested for COVID-19 and experiencing symptoms. We evaluated these experiences for the full sample as well as separately for each racial group included in the analyses. We then assessed the full model depicted in Figure Figure11 in stages.

a Hypothesized conceptual model, b final model with standardized path coefficients. Note: *p < 0.01, **p < 0.001 (N = 963)

We evaluated the moderation hypotheses to determine if the relationships between discrimination, general medical mistrust, and health-specific COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs differed based on participants’ race and ethnicity. Finally, we assessed the full path model with COVID-19 protective behaviors specified as a count variable and Black specified as the reference group, excluding any nonsignificant interactions from the previous analytic step in order to aid with the interpretation of main effects and to present a more parsimonious model. Three indicators of socioeconomic status (annual household income, highest level of education completed, and subjective social status) were included as covariates in analyses, as extensive research has shown that individuals’ socioeconomic standing is associated with racial identity [76, 77], discrimination [78], and medical mistrust [79].

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