Social Work with African American Males: Health, Mental Health, and Social Policy

ISBN : 9780199351879

Waldo E. Johnson
368 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Oct 2013
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African American males have never fared as poorly as they do currently on a number of social indicators. They are less likely to complete high school than their white male and female or African American female peers, they are more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms, and they have fewer sanctioned coping strategies. Arguably, no other group in American society has been more maligned, regularly faced with tremendous odds that uniquely threaten their existence. When they do receive education, mental health, and physical health services, it is often in correctional settings. They are marginalized in public policies on secondary and higher education attainment, marriage and parental expectations, public welfare, health, housing, and community development. Yet they remain overlooked in health and social science research and are stereotyped in the popular media. Taking a step back from the traditionally myopic view of African American males as criminals and hustlers, this groundbreaking book provides a more nuanced and realistic portrait of their experiences in the world. Chapter authors, both established and emerging scholars of social problems relevant to African Americans, offer a comprehensive overview of the social and economic data on black males to date and the significant issues that affect them from adolescence to adulthood. Via in-depth qualitiative interviews as well as comprehensive surveys and data sets, their physical, mental, and spiritual health and emerging family roles are considered within both individual and communal contexts. Chapters cover health issues such as HIV and depression; fatherhood and family roles; suicide; violence; academic achievement; and incarceration. With original research and a special eye toward enhancing social work and social welfare intervention practice with this often overlooked subpopulation of American society, this volume will be of great interest to researchers interested in African American issues, students, practitioners, and policy makers.


1. From Shortys to Old Heads: Contemporary Social Trajectories of African American Males Across the Life Course, Waldo E. Johnson, Jr.
Part I. African American Males' Individual and Family Roles
2. Making Room for Daddy: The Unmarried Adolescent Father's Role in Pregnancy, Constance M. Dallas and Karen Kavanaugh
3. Intergenerational Support and Reciprocity Between Low-Income African American Fathers and Their Aging Mothers, Kevin M. Roy, Omari L. Dyson, and Ja-Nee Jackson
4. Life after PRWORA: The Involvement of African American Fathers With Welfare-Reliant Children and the Child Support Enforcement System, David J. Pate
5. Men Do Matter: The Socially Supportive Role of the African American "Uncle" in the Lives of Single-Female Headed Households and At-Risk African American Male Youth, Joseph B. Richardson, Jr.
6. Academic Achievement, Peer Influences, and Sexual Behaviors Among High School African American Adolescent Boys, Dexter R. Voisin and Torsten B. Neilands
Part II. Educational Issues Facing African American Males
7. Promising Practices: The Positive Effects of After-School Programs for African American Male Development and Educational Progress, Reginald Clark, Alexes Harris, Kimberly A. White-Smith, Walter R. Allen, and Barbara A. Ray
8. Academic Engagement of Black Male Student Athletes: Implications for Practice in Secondary and Postsecondary Schooling, Eddie Comeaux
Part III. Mental and Physical Health Statuses and Challenges to African American Male Development and Social Functioning
9. What are Depressed African American Adolescent Males Saying about Mental Health Services and Providers?, Michael A. Lindsey and Fatima Mirza
10. Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope: Stress, Coping, and Problem Behaviors Among Young African American Males, M. Daniel Bennett, Jr. and Finake Olugbala
11. Health and Young African American Men: An Inside View, Joseph E. Ravenell
12. Health and Health Care Service Use Among Middle-Class Black Men, Sherrill L. Sellers, Vence Bonham, Harold W. Neighbors, and Shuntay McCoy
13. At the Intersection of HIV/AIDS Disparities: Young African American Men who Have Sex With Men, Brian Mustanki, Amy Stauffer, and Robert Garofalo
14. Suicide Among African Americans: A Male's Burden, Sean Joe
Part IV. Life Chances: Violence and Incarceration Among African American Males
15. Cultural Interventions for Reducing Violence Among Young, African American Males, Lance Williams
16. Incarceration and Family Formation, Charles E. Lewis, Jr.
17. Understanding the Economic Costs of Incarceration for African American Males, Mark L. Joseph
Part V. Conclusion
18. The African American Male: The Social Policy Challenge of the 21st Century, Earl S. Johnson, III and Waldo E. Johnson, Jr.

About the author: 

Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., PhD is Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.

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