Vanessa Nyborg of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School has published the book Exploring Racism in the Lives of African American Boys: Implications for Mental Health (VDM Verlag 2009). There has been a gap in the empirical literature regarding the effects that racism may have on children’s psychological well-being and behavior. In an effort to address that gap, this book examines the relations among experiences with racism, psychological well- being, and behavior among African American boys. Results demonstrate that both personal experiences of racism and perceptions of institutional racism are related to aggressive behavior. Moreover, personal incidents with racism are related to self reported internalizing behavior problems, lower self-esteem, and higher levels of hopelessness. The results suggest that the experience of racism is a real occurrence for the African American boys who participated in this study and that racism was associated to their psychological well-being and behavior. The results also illuminate the complexity of the experience of racism. This book should be of interest to those in the psychological and counseling fields or to anyone concerned with the role of racism in the lives of children.
Vanessa Nyborg is an Assistant Researcher in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the Gevirtz School. Dr. Nyborg is a recipient of a Scientist Development Award for New Minority Faculty from the National Institute of Mental Health. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Duke University, where her research focused on examining the unique experiences of African American boys. Her work, both as a clinician and researcher, has always emphasized a contextual approach to looking at the lives of others.
[Vanessa Nyborg is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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