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Title: Racial identity attitudes, Africentrism, self-esteem and psychological wellbeing in black men : a mixed methods study
Author: Fontaine, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 9947
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2013
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This study adopted a mixed methods approach to provide an understanding of the role and impact of racial identity attitudes, following the Cross (1971) model of Nigrescence, on self-esteem and psychological distress in a black men in the UK. In the quantitative phase, 100 black men from a community sample completed questionnaires measuring their racial identity attitudes, African self-consciousness (ASC), self-esteem, and psychological distress. The four participants with the highest scores on the low racial identity attitudes (preencounter and postencounter) and the four with the highest scores on the high racial identity attitudes (immersion-emersion and internalisation) also participated in the qualitative phase. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to gain a deeper insight into how racial identity attitudes impact upon an individual’s subjective lived experience of being black. The quantitative findings showed that black men who were less racially developed and thus endorsed low racial identity attitudes experienced more psychological distress, lower self-esteem and low levels of ASC. Black males who were more racially developed and endorsed higher racial identity attitudes reported greater self-esteem. These findings were differentially related to the four master themes revealed using IPA: racial identity attitudes, psychological effects of racial identity, internalised racism, and presentations of self to others. The combined findings suggest that black males with low racial identity are likely to hold more negative internalised racist beliefs, devalue and are disconnected from their own racial group and cultural identity, and experience more psychological problems such as anger, anxiety and depression. They are also more likely to adopt maladaptive coping strategies to manage psychosocial stressors and an inability to acculturate. In contrast, black males with high racial identity were more likely to value their racial-self and culture and experience greater self-esteem and less psychological distress due to adopting adaptive coping strategies to manage psychosocial distress, with a better ability to acculturate. The relevance of the findings to clinical and counselling practitioners who work with black men is discussed. Racial identity attitudes play a vital role in their overall psychological wellbeing and can aid healing when adopted within a clinical framework.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral