Preliminary Findings Exploring the Social Determinants of Black Males' Lay Health Perspectives.

Published: November 21, 2011


The unequal discussion of Black males’ health is a pressing social problem. This study addressed Black males’ lay perspectives regarding their health, illness, and mortality, with attention to the determinants of men’s health, prevention, lifestyle, and opportunities for health promotion using an exploratory/qualitative research methodology. Participants were 68 Black males aged 15 to 68 years, with an average age of 44 years (SD = 14.5). The narratives represented a complex interplay of biopsychosocial factors, ranging from intrapersonal attitudes, interpersonal experiences to discussions about community and public policy injustices. Five prominent themes emerged: (a) lack of chronic disease awareness, (b) fatalism, (c) fear and anxiety of academic-medical settings, (d) hyperactive masculinity fatigue, and (e) the gay-straight divide. The term Tired Black Male Health syndrome was coined in the forum. Implications of these findings are discussed in the context of culturally relevant strategies for improving Black male community health engagement.

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