Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Black American Youth and Families: A Case Study from the EMBRace Interventionedit
Black American youth are vulnerable to the consequences of repeated exposure to racial discrimination, particularly through hampered coping abilities and greater internalizing and externalizing problems. One way in which Black American parents have protected their children from these deleterious consequences is through racial socialization, or communication regarding aspects of racialized experiences and contexts. Less is known, however, about the potential therapeutic benefits of racial socialization via clinical intervention. The five-week Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race (EMBRace) racial socialization intervention was developed to enhance coping strategies for parents and adolescents and reduce adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems. The purpose of this study is to describe a case study of one family through a mixed methods approach. Variables of interest included racial discrimination, racial socialization, coping, and psychological well-being. Quantitative and qualitative assessments were performed two weeks prior to and one week after the implementation of EMBRace, with qualitative data collected throughout the intervention. Results indicate a developing sense of coping for the adolescent and parent and reduced adolescent psychosocial problems despite increased racialized stress. Results will be used to further investigate the hypotheses proposed in the pilot with a powered sample, and future studies will explore how sociodemographic and biopsychosocial variables relate to policy recommendations, program implementation, and psychosocial outcomes.