Lone survivor: linking institutionalized racial adversity, lived experiences and mental health conditions among African Americans

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary Elisabeth John (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Cindy Dollar

Abstract: Historically, African Americans have practiced self-concealment and utilized alternative forms of mental health treatment such as social support and religious mediation. Using Agnew’s general strain theory and Link’s labeling theory, I illustrate the potential role of cumulative stress and stigmatization in help-seeking behaviors of African American men and women. In addition to this theoretical approach, I conduct a mixed-methods analysis using the National Survey on Drug Use and Health’s 2015 report and fifteen qualitative interviews from individuals who self-identify as experiencing symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. With these interviews, I identify six commonly referenced themes mentioned by participants: identity struggle, stigmatization, distrust of medical providers, image maintenance, religious assumptions/ideologies and dismissal. These themes lead to my defining of the lone survivor and consideration of its social, emotional and psychological implications.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
African American mental illness, Black mental health, Black mental illness
African Americans $x Mental health
Discrimination in mental health services
Discrimination in medical care
Stigma (Social psychology)

Email this document to