Depression rates are disproportionately high among Black American Men. This disparity––compounded by low mental healthcare seeking rates and high incorrect diagnosis rates in men––could be related to masculine norms, including self-reliance, restrictive emotionality, and stoicism. Furthermore, men are more likely to engage in externalized behavior, such as aggression, to cope with mental health challenges; this pattern is influenced by cultural and environmental factors. Contrary to these detrimental factors, social relationships, belief in social networks, and collectivism have been associated with positive mental health in these populations. Similarly, an Afrocentric worldview (including concepts like Ubuntu and African self-consciousness) has been hypothesized to promote positive mental health outcomes among Black American men. However, little research exists on harnessing these factors as a means of increasing health-seeking behaviors in young Black males.
To elucidate the effect of region, depression, African humanism, collectivism, and help-seeking values and needs concerning aggression in young Black males.
This study included Black or African American participants (n = 428) identifying as male, aged 18–25 years, who responded to a Qualtrics survey with questions on region, aggression, depression, African humanism, collectivism, and help-seeking value and need.
Hierarchical linear regression revealed that collectivism, humanness, value, and the need for seeking treatment were inversely associated with aggression (p < 0.001).
Highlighting the effect of cultural norms and help-seeking behaviors and the aggravating effect of depression on aggression in young Black males can help to develop aggression-mitigating interventions rooted in Afrocentric Norms.