Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Education

First Advisor

Howard C. Stevenson

Abstract

Young adult African-American men face some of the most challenging social and health disparities compared to other age, race, and gender groups. They must endure the stress of emerging adulthood through the intense and clashing demands of race and masculinity politics.  An unaddressed question in the literature is “Do distinct racial-gender identity subgroups of Black emerging adult men experience different patterns of risk taking and health risk?” Drawing on the baseline data of a “Barbershop-Based HIV/STD Risk Reduction for African American Young Men” (Jemmott, Jemmott, Coleman, Stevenson, & Ten Have, 2009; Jemmott, Jemmott, Lanier, Thompson, & Baker, 2017), a cluster-randomized comparison of two risk-reduction interventions (sexual health risk and violence retaliation) with 597 African American men aged 18 to 24, this secondary analysis study was conducted. Using the method of latent profile analysis, the results of this study found (a) four distinct identity profiles of Black men based on three key identity factors (manhood stress, hypermasculinity, and awareness of Black manhood vulnerabilities) representing distinct subgroups of Black men (diffuse, 4.5%; balanced, 62%; strained, 30%; and distressed, 3%); (b) demographic and emotional and protective factor differences among the profiles; and (c) behavioral outcome differences by profile in the health risk categories of violence, substance use, weapon exposure, alcohol use, and sexual health risk.  Findings suggest that the ways that young Black men engage in risk taking occur in complex but discernable patterns. Implications for the study of within-group variations in identity in shaping patterns of risk taking and health risk in emerging adult Black men are discussed.

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