Family, School, and Community Influences on the Mental Health of African American Adolescent Girls

Family, School, and Community Influences on the Mental Health of African American Adolescent Girls

Exploring factors that increase and reduce likelihood of mental health-related issues in adolescence not only have implications for adolescent well-being, but also have implications for mental and physical health outcomes across the lifespan (Cooper & Guthrie, 2007). The goal of this proposed research is to move beyond the view of health as an individualistic and deficit perspective toward a view of health that is socially-embedded with specific emphasis on understanding the mental health of African American adolescent females within their relational, social, and environmental contexts.

Specific aims of this investigation included: 1) examining how contextual stressors (e.g., family, school, societal, race and gender discrimination) stressors are associated with African American adolescent girls’ mental health outcomes and 2) identify specific developmental assets (e.g., family cohesion; social support networks; community networks) that may act as protective and compensatory factors.

Funding Agency: Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)


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