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Out of K.O.S. (Knowledge of Self)

Black Masculinity, Psychopathology, and Treatment


Steven Kniffley Jr., Ernest Brown Jr. and Bryan Davis

Out of K.O.S. (Knowledge of Self): Black Masculinity, Psychopathology, and Treatment provides a comprehensive analysis of the development of racialized masculinity in Black males. This text explores the current theories related to gender development and racial identity development and their impact on the formation and expression of Black masculinity. Specifically, this text investigates the intersection between Black masculinity development, racial identity, and race-related traumas/stressors. Out of K.O.S. (Knowledge of Self): Black Masculinity, Psychopathology, and Treatment highlights the dual experience of social oppression and cultural identity suppression as the catalyst for the formation of unintegrated Black masculinity, and its subsequent influence on Black male mental health. Lastly, this book provides a comprehensive discussion concerning therapist variables and clinical interventions that can be helpful when working with Black males in a clinical setting.

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Chapter Four: Creating Clinical Interventions for Black Males


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Creating Clinical Interventions for Black Males

Undereducated, underemployed, undervalued, and chronically-confused with potentially life threatening negative stereotypes, Black males represent a vulnerable population that is at-risk for mental illness. Newbigging, McKeown, and French (2013) examined the effects of unemployment, underemployment, and the most recent economic recession on the mental health of Black men, and found that during the recession years (2007–2011), Black men had a higher risk of developing chronic mental illnesses than their White male counterparts.

Black males were at-risk for mental illnesses, caused by the following factors: race-specific unemployment rates that doubled, shortly before and during the recession, economic and emotional insecurity (i.e. a fear of losing a job and/or income and difficulty finding employment), and chronic illnesses (Newbigging et al., 2013). Results indicate that exposure to mental illnesses, along with limited access to mental health services, can transcend beyond socio-economic statuses. In fact, even Black males, who are above the poverty line can experience mental illnesses, and suffer from insufficient mental health services, as compared to their White peers (Lo & Cheng, 2014).

As discussed in the previous chapter, the combined effect of social oppression, through racial discrimination and cultural identity suppression, from the internalization of negative racialized masculinity stereotypes, contributes to the development of an unintegrated Black masculinity. Black males experience conflict, due to this restricted integration of racialized gender norms and roles. ← 107 | 108 →

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