Research conducted at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis finds that stress increases the risk for violent behavior among African American youths. The study examined stress among African Americans aged 19-25. The results showed that stress stemming from economic factors or neighborhood problems did not increase the risk for violent behavior among the cohort group. However, the study showed that African Americans who were stressed from racial discrimination were more likely to lash out with violence.
The study also showed that African Americans ages 19 to 25 who were exposed to stress from financial, neighborhood, or discriminatory factors were more likely to develop symptoms of depression.
Lorena Estrada-Martinez, an assistant professor of social work at Washington University and lead author of the study, stated, “Racial discrimination serves as a lightning rod for violent interactions and must be eliminated from society at the structural level.”
The article, which will be published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, may be accessed here.