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The Psychology of Black Boys and Adolescents

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It has been said that the most dangerous place for a child to grow up in America is at the intersection of poverty and race. That danger is especially prevalent for young black men, who are five times more likely to be incarcerated than black girls. Understanding the struggles these young men face is key to finding solutions.

Drawing on personal insights and research-based knowledge, this important work facilitates understanding of the psychological struggles of young African American males and offers ameliorative strategies.

Despite examples set by successful black men in all walks of life, the truth remains that a disproportionate number of black boys and young men underperform at school, suffer from PTSD, and, too often, find themselves on a pathway to jail. The two-volume The Psychology of Black Boys and Adolescents marks the first attempt to catalog the many psychological influences that can stack the deck against black male children—and to suggest interventions.

Bringing together an expansive collection of new and classic research from a wide variety of disciplines, this set sheds light on the complex circumstances faced by young black men in the United States. Contributions by authors Kirkland Vaughans and Warren Spielberg contain insights from the groundbreaking "Brotherman" study, conducted over a ten-year period to report on the lives and psychological challenges of over a hundred African American boys and their families.

Among the myriad issues studied in this set are the often-negative expectations of society, the influence of gangs, and the impact of racism and poverty. Of equal importance, the work explores culturally specific ways to engage families, youths, communities, and policymakers in the development of healthy, safe, educated boys who will become whole and successful adults.

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