Paper instructions

The final paper represents the culmination of your learning process in this class. As such, it should show both a grasp of concepts and ideas we have covered in course readings, lectures, and discussions, and your ability to build on those ideas through independent research. Your independent research should consist of reading and analyzing five social scientific articles or books that we did not already cover in class. Based on these and relevant course readings, your paper should contain:Introduction:o What are you focusing on in this paper? What are the questions that you were trying to answer? Why is this topic important? o Define your approach: Will you be examining this topic historically, such as discussing how our understanding of a particular illness has changed over time? Will you be focusing on the social dimensions of a disease/illness? Will you engage in an institutional analysis of the mental health care system? Will you be providing a cultural analysis of particular mental illnesses? Main body of the paper:o In this part of the paper you will use the five research articles/books you found to support your argument/thesis. Moreover, you will also connect your discussion to course concepts/ideas/readings. Does your research support or complement relevant ideas from class? Or do the authors whose work you discuss contradict some of the authors we have read? Conclusion:o Restate your argument and summarize your evidence. o Optional: Are there any further areas of study that you think scholars should examine? Do you have further questions that you were not able to answer in this research? Editing guidelines:8 double-spaced pages;Times New Roman, 12pt font;Place your name at the top of the first page;Use page numbers;Include a list of references (not part of the page count).

Final Paper Topic Proposal: Depression and Anxiety among Black Americans

Throughout the course of the semester, we have discussed various forms of environmental factors that are likely to or have caused mental illness symptoms among specific groups. As Link and Phelan note, social conditions can and should be considered for the root causes of many diseases/disorders. For instance, we learned that there is a causal relationship between the process of immigration and the development of depressive symptoms among Latinx immigrants. Additionally, we read about the medical acknowledgement of PTSD among veterans and other people who experience traumatic events. The following paper will draw connections between these ideas to analyze the effects of prolonged stress through instruments of oppression on the mental health of Black Americans, particularly analyzing rates of depression and anxiety, while also examining these same instruments that block Black Americans from receiving treatment. Recent research has begun looking at the biological effects of trauma (epigenetics), but this paper will specifically analyze the effects of discrimination on the mental health of Black people.

Initial articles for this paper will look at discrepancies in the frequency of depressive symptoms between Black and white Americans and provide evidence of racial socialization as the cause. These articles will look at a variety of factors: daily discrimination, low socioeconomic status (SES), and acts of violence. The next part of the essay will review some of the barriers to receiving mental health care and some of the alternatives to care that Black Americans employ.


Banks, K. H., Kohn-Wood, L. P., & Spencer, M. (2006). An Examination of the African American Experience of Everyday Discrimination and Symptoms of Psychological Distress. Community Mental Health Journal42(6), 555–570.

Banks et. al analyze the effects of day-to-day racism and discrimination on the mental health of Black Americans, drawing a link between constant discrimination and constant stress. This not only shows that it is both an interpersonal and institutional issue.

Barnes, P. A., Mayo-Gamble, T. L., Harris, D., & Townsend, D. (2018). Correlation Between Personal Health History and Depression Self-Care Practices and Depression Screening Among African Americans With Chronic Conditions. Preventing Chronic Disease15

This article provides analysis around the ways Black Americans conduct self-mental health practices, especially because of the difficulty of treatment. I will use this to develop the later part of my argument.

Fischer, A. R., & Shaw, C. M. (1999). African Americans’ mental health and perceptions of racist discrimination: The moderating effects of racial socialization experiences and self-esteem. Journal of Counseling Psychology46(3), 395–407.

Similar to Banks et. al (2006), this article looks at the effects of racial socialization on the mental health of Black Americans. It provides, however, a more intense look since socialization starts at childhood, and follows the effects throughout adulthood. This will show that the effects of racism are not just microaggressions or explicit acts of violence.

Hudson, D. L., Neighbors, H. W., Geronimus, A. T., & Jackson, J. S. (2011). The relationship between socioeconomic position and depression among a US nationally representative sample of African Americans. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology47(3), 373–381.

This article reviews the relationship between SES and mental health, which provides core evidence for my argument that they are linked. It also looks at the effects of prolonged stress as a result of the SES.

Snowden, L. R. (2001). Barriers to Effective Mental Health Services for African Americans. Mental Health Services Research3(4), 181–187.

This article outlines specific barriers to mental health treatment for Black Americans. First, it discusses the possibility of higher mental illness rates among Black Americans versus other groups and why these higher rates exist. Then, it discusses the issues in African Americans receiving care — not only institutional obstacles but also community stigma — and how Black Americans cope.

Watson, N. N., & Hunter, C. D. (2015). Anxiety and depression among African American women: The costs of strength and negative attitudes toward psychological help-seeking. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology21(4), 604–612.

Wilson and Hunter analyze anxiety and depression among Black women, particularly looking at the attitudes around receiving help. This will be used to portray some of the reasons why Black people do not seek mental health treatment.Teachers notes- this is a great topic, make sure to clearly stat your thesis/research aquestion in the final paper. Additionally you need 5 sources from social science sources.Most of yours are notundefined

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