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Journal Article

Citation

Watkins DC. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019; 16(8): e16081331.

Affiliation

School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. daphnew@umich.edu.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)

DOI

10.3390/ijerph16081331

PMID

31013882

Abstract

Black men experience disproportionate mental health challenges due to their exposure to severe psychosocial stressors. Yet, the mental health challenges of Black men have largely been left out of national conversations. Strong theoretical frameworks are important when generating dialogue about the mental health of Black men, as it helps to validate the work on a larger scale while also grounding the work for more practical use. This paper presents the conceptual framework for a five-year initiative aimed at improving the living, learning, and thriving of young Black men through a social media intervention that improves their mental health, expands their definitions of manhood, and helps them to engage in social support. The Young, Black Men, Masculinities, and Mental Health (YBMen) project is a social media-based, health promotion program that targets mental health (e.g., depressive symptoms), masculine norms (e.g., definitions of manhood), and social support for young Black men using culturally-sensitive, age-appropriate, and gender-specific popular culture. The YBMen project has been successfully implemented with over 150+ Black men since 2014; findings demonstrate improved mental health outcomes, progressive definitions of manhood, and stronger social relationships. Reflections from the past and projections for the future are discussed.


Language: en

Keywords

African American/Black men; intervention; manhood; masculinity; mental heath; social media

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