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Discuss your personal understanding of why the African-American family is in such trouble. Discuss possible solutions.

Discuss some of the reasons for the over-representation of African-American males in prison.

Discuss the issues related to the problems facing Native American youth who leave the reservation. In contrast, discuss the problems of Native Americans who choose NOT to leave the reservations.

Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of African-American and Native American cultures. What are the implications for delivery of health and social services?

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones


African-American Family Issues & Criminality

The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy released a study in 2008 that proposed deviant and delinquent African-American youth turn towards either internalization (depression, anxiety) or externalization (violence, self-destruction, gang related activities, etc.) because of the social situation in their families. Family dynamics according to studies from court cases showed that families involving African-American youth delinquency are largely dysfunctional causing them to internalize or externalize conflict in a reactive manner to try and 'deal'. The study reported that this is not the general case in white families or any other ethnic family groups (Asian, Hispanic, etc.). African-American girls also tend to 'externalize' or act out more than internalize issues making African-American female delinquents more like to harm themselves and others in a physical manner (use of knives and weapons, motivation to participate in physical brawls and fights, abuse of alcohol and other substances, etc.). The study then focused on the differences between African-American families to try and find what they lack system-wise in comparison to other families to find out what the buffer is. Generally, the African-American or black families belong to family units with the least economic chances. In the inner cities, much has not changed since the days of the first wave of immigration and attitudes towards the ideal nuclear family is not sustainable because the norm had always been based on the problematic model. If children grew up with irresponsible parents, they usually emulate the outlooks they have on life. Teen pregnancy is common and family planning as well as family structures idealized in white families and other ethnicities (the Hispanics value family life and take pride in close relations, same goes for the Asians) are not given such importance in poor African-American families and the cycle of teen pregnancies, difficult economic realities due to lack of education and the attraction of ...