Evaluating Africentric Violence Prevention for Adolescent Black Males in an Urban Public School: An Idiothetic Approach
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Overrepresentation of Black male students among suspensions and expulsions from public schools contribute to negative psychosocial functioning. The Imani Rites of Passage program (IROP), sponsored by Family Renaissance Inc., is a time-limited Africentric intervention, designed to enhance Black male students’ life coping skills to respond more appropriately to negative situations. The study seeks to evaluate an idiothetic approach to behavior change from implementation of the IROP program in a low-income public school, comparing intervention and no-intervention groups on measures informed by the cognitive-cultural model of Black identity.
After informed consent and assent, IROP participants completed online measures of Africentric socialization, individual and cultural identity, social competence, and violence risk using school lab computers, followed by 15 weekly sessions of two hours each of intervention. The hypothesis was that intervention participants (N = 20, mean age = 16.04) at posttest will exhibit greater cultural socialization, stronger racial and individual identity, greater social competence, and reduction in violence risk than no-intervention participants (N = 20, mean age = 15.42).
The findings of the evaluation indicated an Africentrric socialization effect on some predictor variables associated with posttest reductions in violence risk for the intervention group. They provide partial support for hypotheses derived from the cognitive-cultural model.
We conclude that (1) the IROP can be successfully implemented in a public-school setting; (2) intervention effects are partially consistent with the cognitive-cultural model of African American identity: and (3) idiographic and idiothetic approaches are more sensitive to behavior change than the normative type of data analysis.
KeywordsAfricentric intervention Black youth Public school Violence prevention
The Imani Rites of Passage (IROP) program was provided as an extracurricular school service to East New York Family Academy funded by an award (#CT1 201730609 13) to Family Renaissance, Inc., from the New York City Board of Education (NYCBOE). However, the views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the school or the NYCBOE. We thank the school administration for their support of the program. Dr Whaley’s program evaluation of IROP was an independent service performed pro bono for Family Renaissance, Inc. and was not covered by NYCBOE funding.
A.L.W. conducted data analyses and wrote manuscript. A.L.W. and J.P.M. contributed to the study design. J.P.M. developed the program curriculum and served as on-site supervisor for program implementation and data collection. JPM approved final draft of the manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The consent and assessment procedures used in the evaluation of the IROP program received Institutional Review Board approval from Texas Southern University to the first author (A.L.W.).
Parents or guardians gave informed consent and participants themselves were required to give assent.
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