Watkins, D., Allen, J., Goodwill, J., & Noel, B. (2017). Strengths and weaknesses of the young black men, masculinities, and mental health (YBMen) facebook project. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 87(4), 392-401.
The Young Black Men, Masculinities, and Mental Health (YBMen) project is a Facebook-based intervention that provides mental health education and social support to young Black men. The YBMen project was created to better understand and address the pressures and needs of young Black men, particularly with regard to issues related to their conceptualization of masculinity and mental health. Black men from a 2-year liberal arts college in the Midwest (United States) enrolled in the YBMen pilot project. The purpose of this study is to report what participants in the YBMen pilot project liked and disliked about the intervention, along with their suggestions for improvement. Qualitative results from the 8 Black men who actively participated in the YBMen Facebook intervention and completed the postintervention interview are reported. A systematic analysis identified 9 subthemes that described participants’ reactions to different components and characteristics of the Facebook intervention. Results indicated that opportunities for relationship building and connectivity, coupled with engaging popular culture references used in the intervention encouraged young Black men to actively participate in the YBMen Facebook intervention. The YBMen project has potential to improve the health and well-being of young Black men by providing nontraditional resources that are easily accessible, culturally sensitive, and gender-specific. Implications of the YBMen project as an effective Internet-based program that promotes mental health and increases social support among young Black men are discussed.
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