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Durham, J.I. (2018). Perceptions of Microaggressions: Implications for the Mental Health and Treatment of African American Youth. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 17(1):52-61.

(2018). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 17(1):52-61

Perceptions of Microaggressions: Implications for the Mental Health and Treatment of African American Youth

Jennifer I. Durham, Psy.D.

Race continues to be a salient and impactful component of psychological well-being in diverse modern societies. Significant race based disparities in mental health with respect to children and youth have been noted. Such disparities are evident in both access to and types of treatment. Confounding this issue are the race based phenomena that shape the dynamics between mental health and disorder for African American children and youth. While all races of children experience typical childhood mental health challenges such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Conduct Disorder, African American children who report perceived racism are more than twice as likely to have such disorders using Winnicott’s True and False Self as a framework, the following qualitative study explored how African American seventh grade students perceived personal racist encounters. Implications for treatment will be discussed within the context of therapeutic strategies.

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