Maafa and Youth: Examining the Associations Between Interpersonal Racism, Racial Identity, and Mental Health Problems for Black Male Adolescents
The United States’ systems of systemic and interpersonal anti-Black racism result in a unique configuration of Black identity development and mental health vulnerability for Black male adolescents (BMAs). Despite Black adolescents experiencing increased rates of traumatic stress symptoms and depression (López et al., 2017), and more contact with the justice system compared to the national average (OJJDP, 2017), few studies have analyzed how the impact of interpersonal racism on BMA’s identity and mental health might present in distinct settings. Given the urgency among juvenile justice professionals to address how systemic racism can interact with interpersonal racism to impact the expression and treatment of trauma-related disorders for youth that come into contact with the justice system (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network [NCTSN], 2016). The current project sought to understand the role of Black identity in the relationship between interpersonal racism, psychological stress, traumatic stress, and depression among BMAs in community and justice-involved settings in 2 studies. In study 1, these constructs were investigated in a community archival sample of 563 BMAs. Moderation analyses revealed no effect of Black identity on the relationship between interpersonal racism and mental health outcomes. However, interpersonal racism had a significant relationship with psychological stress after controlling for lifetime traumatic event exposures. In study 2, the constructs were investigated in a sample of 71 justice-involved BMAs as a part of a Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice study on trauma screening. Moderation analyses revealed that Black identity Centrality was buffering the relationship between microaggressions and depression. Further, there was evidence that Black identity Private Regard buffered the relationship between microaggressions and PTSD symptoms. These findings lend support to Private Regard and Centrality as possible intervening variables in buffering against the effects of interpersonal experiences of racism on symptoms of PTSD and depression. Further, these findings suggest that justice-involved BMAs possessing a positive sense of their Black identity could be a pathway to resilience from the effects of racial trauma within the justice-system.
Clinical psychology|Developmental psychology|Gender studies|African American Studies|Educational sociology
Auguste, Evan E. J, "Maafa and Youth: Examining the Associations Between Interpersonal Racism, Racial Identity, and Mental Health Problems for Black Male Adolescents" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28962572.