Effectively facilitating the development and mental health of Black boys and men requires changes by many systems and individuals, according to a new report by SPSMM’s Racial Ethnic Minority Special Interest Group (REMSIG).
In addition to providing clinical services to treat individuals, psychologists work as consultants to law enforcement, engage in the creation of policy, and work in school settings. We encourage psychologists to be ready and skilled to address the experiences of direct and vicarious racebased trauma and to integrate our theoretical and empirical knowledge to address structural inequities that promote disparities in academic opportunities, health and legal problems that are experienced by Black boys and men. This report draws upon theoretical and empirical knowledge from the psychological (i.e. clinical, counseling, social), criminal justice, and education literature. :
This document is two-fold in that the first half presents current information on the state of Black boys and men in the United States: (1) provides a summary of public health, criminal justice, and education data on Black boys and men and (2) summarizes the scholarship on implicit bias as a way to explain recent race-based inequities. The second half of the document provides recommendations such as (1) promising strategies to stem the violence that Black boys and men face by law enforcement; (2) interventions with educators, counselors, and school administrators; and (3) resources for psychologists and for parents and families.
Context of the Report:
The Racial Ethnic Minority Special Interest Group, of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity, is a group of psychologists and graduate students with research and practice interests that center on concerns facing boys and men of color. The group meets in person annually during the Convention of the American Psychological Association to discuss advances, strategies, and barriers to engaging in research and practice with particular interest in Black boys and men.
During our annual meeting in 2014, a smaller group of psychologists and graduate students endeavored to create a brief document that could be accessed by our members as well as the public to bring awareness, knowledge, and to share some potential interventions. Since that meeting, there have been a number of police-related deaths involving men of color. As the reports of each new death of a Black male emerge, we feel deeply the pain inflicted upon us, and members of our greater community. Each case brings to our awareness how systemic racism, bias, and masculine norms may shape the behaviors of police and the responses of boys and men in our communities. Instead of a sole focus on police violence, we sought to provide more context to understand the experiences of Black boys and men. We also recognize that policerelated deaths have impacted communities of color outside of our specific focus on Black boys and men. This report gives special attention to Black boys and men given the disproportionate number of violent acts against this group.
The views here are that of Division 51 (Society for the Psychological Study of Men Masculinity) of the American Psychological Association and do not represent an official position of APA.
Download the report: StateOfBlackBoys&Men.Div51REMSIGReport