Research Paper

*What should be included*Title: Should be brief (APA format) ,Abstract: (Really only part gets read. Describes briefly the purpose of the study, the methods, and a sentence or tow about the results),Introduction: The general purpose statement of what is being accomplished (Introduce the problem and the scope of it, what you hoped to accomplish) , Literature review, Methodology, Participants (Description of your participants *Demographics, Where they came from, how you selected them (random, cluster) ,Apparatus (Describe the instrument or test used, copy of the instrument and the confidentiality form) ,Procedure (How the study was carried out; interviews, question, setting time, resources),Results (Codebook *Include*) Summary of your analysis that were performed on the data collection ,Discussion (Related the results to the study) *Issues with reliability or validity should be discussed. Coding errors or problems with population. Below many I’ve attached all the components apparatus, procedure, results, and discussion.
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Age
Gender
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Race
1.African American
2.White
3.American Indian or Alaska Native
4.Native Hawaiian
5.Asian
Gender
1. Female
2. Male
Relationship Status
1.
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Married
Married
Divorced
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Age
1. 18-30
2. 30-49
3. 50 and over
Awareness of Mental Health
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Awareness Classification
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Health
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4. Fully aware
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Graduate Level
Faculty
Running head: MENTAL ILLNESSES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN
Environmental Causes of Mental Illnesses in African-American Men
Ashley Butler
Fort Valley State University
1
MENTAL ILLNESSES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN
2
Environmental Causes of Mental Illnesses in African-American Men
Mental health disorders and mental illnesses are a growing health problem in the U.S.
The number of people seeking mental health care in the U.S has steadily grown in the recent
years with mental illnesses among African-American men being worse. Currently, 1 in 5 people
has a mental disorder in the course of their lives in the U.S (Gonnerman, 2015). According to the
National Alliance on Mental Illnesses (n.d.), African Americans are 20% more likely to develop
a mental illness mainly due to the environmental factors that affect the development of such
illnesses. Among the population, men are worse off due to the apparent stressful environment
and unhealthy tendencies they may present. This concern makes it necessary to review other
authors’ sentiments regarding the environment as the major cause of mental illnesses among
African-American men.
Help-Seeking Tendencies
It has been traditionally identified that African Americans have poor tendencies of
seeking treatment or even distrusting health facilities. This tendency has also been observed by
various authors. Holden et al. (2012) found out that three issues are associated with African
American men’s failure to seek help in the case of mental health; self-stigma, masculine norms
in the culture, and their attitudes (big boys do not cry). These same sentiments are held by Ward
and Mengesha (2013), who refer to the self-stigma as the self-concealment of African-American
men. The authors identify that these tendencies are historical and are inspired by the culture. This
environmental cause is confirmed by their report that 30% of African-American men, as opposed
to 39% of the females and 51% of whites with MDD, sought medical care (Ward and Mengesha,
2013). These statistics go to show that the African-American men are less likely to seek care thus
worsening mental illnesses.
MENTAL ILLNESSES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN
3
Another point that has been advanced by several researchers is the help-seeking behavior
coupled with the interaction with the police. Due to the discriminatory history of the police
towards African-American men, Burnett-Zeigler (2016) claims that they are less likely to seek
help, especially in cases of violent behavior. The Chicago Tribune author claims that the police
are likely to exacerbate such situations instead of de-escalating them. Similarly, Lindsey et al.
(2006) claim that African American adolescent boys consulted with their families regarding
depressive symptoms but the divergent advice always led them to avoid authorities especially the
police. That way, law enforcement and the social environment affecting the perceptions of
African-American men may be preventing them from seeking help in the case of mental
illnesses. Consequently, the results are the worsening of the mental illnesses.
Obesity and Depression
The rates of obesity in the U.S have been identified as being affected by racial factors.
African Americans are identified as being at a higher risk of obesity in the U.S. with 47.8%
already being obese as compared to 42.5% of Hispanic and 32.6% of whites (NAMI, n.d.). The
result is that the largest number of obese men in the U.S is that of African Americans. According
to Simon et al. (2006), although more African American women are obese as compared to the
men, the gap is gradually closing showing that despite the traditional physical activity of men,
more women are becoming physically active. This goes to show that the number of African
American men who are obese is relatively high in the country.
The link between the obesity of African American men and mental illness is identified in
depressive disorders that are apparently triggered and exacerbated by weight gain and obesity.
Simon et al. (2006) conclude that obesity is associated with 25% odds of increasing mood
disorders which may develop into mental illnesses. They also add that the demographic
MENTAL ILLNESSES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN
4
differences such as social and cultural environments count in the contribution of obesity towards
mood disorders. Further, Carpenter et al. (2000) find out that weight gain and obesity were
associated with the probability of past-year major depression, suicide attempts, or ideation. That
way, although they do not pinpoint a causal relationship, they present evidence that obesity and
weight gain are related. From those studies, it seems that the authors suggest that African
American men who become obese due to environmental factors are highly likely to develop
mental illnesses.
Racism and Discrimination
Systemic and also social racism and discrimination are common in the U.S, and the
people on the receiving end are often African Americans. More so, encounters with law
enforcement officers have been seen as a negative experience for African American men
(Burnett-Zeigler, 2016). Encounters with the police and other institutions including the mental
health institutions have also been identified as presenting the fear of discrimination or the actual
discrimination in among African Americans in general (Lindsey et al., 2006). This realization
leads to the hypothesis that the inherently discriminative systems are making the incidences of
mental illnesses worse among African Americans and especially the men. This is a socio-cultural
environmental factor that has been identified by several authors.
Away from the discrimination by police and the hospital system, racism-related stress has
been identified as a potential cause of mental disorders among African American men. Alex and
Robert (2007) argue that with general stress controlled, racism-related stress shows significant
variances in the psychological distress of both working class and middle-upper class African
American men. This finding suggests that African American men are adversely affected by the
racism-related stress that may emanate from their immediate environment. Similarly, Williams
MENTAL ILLNESSES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN
5
and Williams-Morris (2010) experiences of racism whether in the workplace or the social setting
leads to adverse physiological and psychological reactions that lead to adverse mental and
physical health effects. Therefore, the authors point out that people who experience racism or
racism-related stress are likely to develop mental health problems.
The effects of racism on the lives of African American men also indirectly affect their
mental health. According to Williams and Williams-Morris (2010), systemic discrimination and
racism lead to a “truncated socioeconomic mobility.” The effect is that employment inequalities
and lack of opportunities for the minority may cause stress and depression, which would further
lead to mental illnesses. This is common among African American men who are frustrated and
disappointed by “the system.” Further, Williams (2008) supports these findings by showing that
racism and discrimination cause economic marginality. The result of this marginality, as the
previous authors had shown, is psychological distress, which may lead to mental illnesses. The
African American men who are traditionally the breadwinners in their families are the most
affected by the issue in the U.S.
Past Trauma (violence)
In every case, past trauma has been directly linked to mental illnesses. Most of the trauma
includes violent experiences that people have. According to Brunson (2007), African American
young men feel that the police do not like them because of the experienced cases of police
brutality towards the young African American man. That way, they associate most mental
illnesses occurring among them with the trauma that comes with the police brutality. Further,
according to Gonnerman (2015), the case of Kalief Browder who was a young African American
male reflects the effects of police brutality on the mental health of the population. These findings
or opinions guide to the acknowledgment of the possibility that the law enforcement systems
MENTAL ILLNESSES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN
6
used in the U.S present excessive force that leads to the mental illnesses especially after
traumatic experiences with the police.
Other than violence emanating from the law enforcement, the social environment of a
large portion of African American men may encourage violence. Burnette-Zeigler (2016) reports
that most mentally ill persons are highly likely to be in violent relationships or coming from
violent families. Holden et al. (2012) further clarify the issue by adding that other than violent
relationships causing mental illnesses, African American men are highly likely to encounter
violence in their daily social lives and thus stand high chances of developing mental illnesses.
The trauma may vary from street fighting to violent murders or shootings. Violence associated
with mental illnesses among African American men has been identified in the social setting as
well as the law enforcement setting. That way, this group might be exposed to the violent
environment that leads to the worsening of mental illnesses.
Access to Care and Support
Access to mental health care is one crucial issue that allows the prevention, early
diagnosis, and treatment of mental illnesses in a population. Traditionally, minority races have
had poor access to health facilities. According to Williams (2008), low socioeconomic status
men, working class Black men and racial minorities are highly vulnerable when it comes to
accessing mental health care. The lack of affordability and availability combined cause the
apparent disparities among African American populations across the nation. Further, Fiscella et
al. (2000) hold that even when mental health care is available, racial minorities may face stigma
from the practitioners. This is especially so of the patients have violent episodes. The portrayal
of the African American man as a violent being in popular culture has a hand in the apparent
discrimination in the access to mental health care.
MENTAL ILLNESSES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN
7
Incarceration
One other great debate about the mental health of African American men is the access to
care while in custody and the conditions that lead to mental illnesses while in incarceration. The
incarceration rates of African American males are five times the rates of whites (NAACP, n.d.).
Among the prison population, a fairly large number of inmates suffer from mental illnesses. This
means that many incarcerated African Americans suffer mental illnesses. To put this in
perspective, Steadman et al. (2009) acknowledge that despite the right to adequate health care
while in jail or prison, the situation on the ground is usually not the same. The inadequate access
to health care, especially mental health care, leads to a dire situation of mental illness and the
development of the illnesses to later stages.
Other than the access to care, the deplorable prison environment is seen as another
contributor towards mental disorders and illnesses. Williams (2008) discusses the effect of prison
life on the mental health of the incarcerated persons and spell out a clear causal relationship
between deplorable conditions or solitary confinement and mental illnesses among inmates.
Similarly, Steadman et al. (2009) hold that the limited environment of the prison life combined
with the apparent toxic masculinity may cause mental illnesses on the victims. This has also been
the focus of NAACP (n.d.) in discussing the effects of the increasing prison numbers on mental
health. With African American males being the largest percentage of incarcerated minorities,
they face these conditions fair and square. That way, the conditions of the prison cells and the
life there, in general, are hypothesized causes of mental illnesses among African American men.
MENTAL ILLNESSES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN
References
Alex, L., & Robert, C. (2007). An examination of the relationship between general life stress,
racism-related stress, and psychological health among black men. Journal of Counseling
Psychology, 54(1), 101.
Brunson, R. K. (2007). “Police don’t like black people”: African-American young men’s
accumulated police experiences. Criminology & Public Policy, 6(1), 71-101.
Burnette-Ziegler, (2016, October 14). Mental Health in the Black Community: A Matter of
Health or Death. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-mental-health-depressionblacks-suicide-african-americans-perspec-1017-jm-20161014-story.html
Carpenter, K. M., Hasin, D. S., Allison, D. B., & Faith, M. S. (2000). Relationships between
obesity and DSM-IV major depressive disorder, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts:
results from a general population study. American journal of public health, 90(2), 251.
Fiscella, K., Franks, P., Gold, M. R., & Clancy, C. M. (2000). Inequality in quality: addressing
socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic disparities in health care. Jama, 283(19), 2579-2584.
Gonnerman, J. (2015). Kalief Browder, 1993-2015. The New Yorker.
Holden, K. B., McGregor, B. S., Blanks, S. H., & Mahaffey, C. (2012). Psychosocial, sociocultural, and environmental influences on mental health help-seeking among AfricanAmerican men. Journal of men’s health, 9(2), 63-69.
Lindsey, M. A., Korr, W. S., Broitman, M., Bone, L., Green, A., & Leaf, P. J. (2006). Helpseeking behaviors and depression among African American adolescent boys. Social
Work, 51(1), 49-58.
8
MENTAL ILLNESSES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN
9
NAACP. (n.d.). Criminal Justice Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.naacp.org/criminaljustice-fact-sheet/
National Alliance on Mental Illnesses. (n.d.). African American Mental Health. Retrieved from
https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Diverse-Communities/African-American-MentalHealth
R. Williams, D., & Williams-Morris, R. (2000). Racism and mental health: The African
American experience. Ethnicity and health, 5(3-4), 243-268.
Simon, G., Von Korff, M., Saunders, K., Miglioretti, L., Crane, P., van Belle, G., and Kessler, R.
(2006). Association Between Obesity and Psychiatric Disorders in the US Adult
Population. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 63(7):824–830. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.63.7.824
Steadman, H. J., Osher, F. C., Robbins, P. C., Case, B., & Samuels, S. (2009). Prevalence of
serious mental illness among jail inmates. Psychiatric services, 60(6), 761-765.
Ward, E. and Mengesha, M. (2013). Depression in African American Men: A Review of What
We Know and Where We Need to Go From Here. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry,
83(2 0 3): 386–397. doi: 10.1111/ajop.12015
Williams, D. R. (2008). The health of men: structured inequalities and opportunities. American
journal of public health, 98(Supplement_1), S150-S157.
Running head: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research Methodology
Ashley Butler
Fort Valley State University
1
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
2
Research Methodology
The purpose of this research is to examine the causes of mental illnesses among AfricanAmerican men. The research question that the research will focus on is: What are the
environmental causes of the high prevalence of mental illness among African American men?
This research will be performed using a qualitative approach which will allow the researcher to
understand the perceptions of the public regarding the topic from their answers to questions
regarding mental illnesses and African American men. Specifically, the research will call for
explanations from various people using questionnaires on their perceptions of mental illnesses
and the way they connect to African American men. Essentially, the research will seek to find
out whether the respondents think African American men have high rates of mental illness and
further investigate the causes that people associate such illnesses with.
Research Design
To explore the question “What are the environmental causes of the high prevalence of
mental illness among African American men?” qualitative research design will be used. This
research aims to understand the attitudes and beliefs of people towards mental illness and
African American men. Therefore, it will be best to use this design as a guide in the research
because it best captures beliefs and perceptions of research participants. Essentially, I hope to
work with a diverse population to understand the variations in beliefs and attitudes towards
mental illness.
Population
The participants in this research will be students in a university setting. The population is
diverse regarding the race and gender. Therefore, using this population will allow a comparative
look at the topic. The inclusion criteria for the research will be that the participant is a college
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3
student in the institution and taking courses that are not related to medicine and psychology. The
sample will include a minimum of 10 participants. The inclusion criteria are such that the
respondents do not have significant experience with the dynamics of mental illness and they are
able to present their own opinion and not an well knowledgeable opinion on the topic.
Instrumentation
The data will be collected through questionnaires. Questionnaires will be produced and
distributed to students in classes and they will be requested to fill in their responses and submit
them. The students will be asked to fill the questionnaires only if they are ready and willing to do
so. Further, they will be instructed not to write their names anywhere on the questionnaires and
only to indicate demographic details such as age, gender, and the course taken. The ethics issue
of consent will be addressed through availing the questionnaires only on a volunteer basis. The
questionnaires will include open-ended questions and an allowance for participants to add any
insight. The preference of this instrument of collecting data is that it allows anonymity and
confidentiality while collecting qualitative information from the participants.
Running head: RESEARCH QUESTION DEVELOPMENT
Research Question Development
Ashley Butler
Fort Valley State University
1
RESEARCH QUESTION DEVELOPMENT
2
Research Question Development
Research Questions
1.
Why do African-American men have a high probability of developing mental illnesses?
2.
Which are the environmental causes of mental illness among African-American men?
3.
How has culture contributed to the high rate of mental illnesses among African-American
men?
Hypotheses That Can be Tested
1.
Violence and discrimination against African-American men are the environmental factors
contributing to their mental illnesses.
Null Hypothesis
There is no significant difference between mental illness rates among African-American men and
the general population.
The Variables
The independent variables are culture and the environmental factors. The dependent variable is
the rate of mental illnesses. The rate of mental illnesses keeps changing across different cultures
and in different environmental factors making it the dependent variab …
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