Systematic Literature Review: Identifying the Challenges Mental Health Professionals Experience when Assessing and Measuring Racial Microaggressions in African Americas in the United States Open Access

Njoroge, Charlene Flowers (2017)

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As racism, in particular racial microaggressions, becomes increasingly recognized as a source of mental health stress for African Americans, it is important to understand how to identify, assess and measure the impact racial microaggressions have on African American’s mental health. Racial microaggression is a fairly new type of discrimination towards many minority groups such as African Americans and Asian Americans. Similar to the effects of racism, racial microaggression has a significant impact on one’s mental and physical health. In order to lessen the impact on one’s mental and physical health, it is important to research some of the barriers for mental health treatment. The purpose of this systematic review is to explore what the literature says are challenges mental health professionals face in assessing and measuring daily racial microaggression experiences in African American clients. The methodology used in this systematic review involved the development of a search string related to racial microaggression that would yield a wide range of articles to address the research questions developed within this systematic review. After the literature results, the systematic process included applying my inclusion and exclusion terms to the literature and then I extracted the data from articles into a database which narrowed down my literature to the final articles. The final 13 articles used for this systematic review were analyzed by grouping articles together with similar themes that relates to the research questions and offered recommendations. The literature identified some of the challenges which included: 1) researchers and mental health professionals heavily rely on self-reporting for data collection; 2) racial microaggression is a fairly new term and research is limited on the subject and 3) there is a lack of awareness about racial microaggressions among mental health professionals. These challenges provide a unique opportunity to research possible recommendations to combat the aforementioned challenges. The recommendations includes exploring additional research methods, such as observing behaviors and journals over a long period of time, and building awareness of racial microaggression among mental health professionals. Combating these challenges will improve the relationship between African Americans and the mental health community and as a result will improve the mental and physical health of African Americans.  

Table of Contents

Table of Contents Chapter 1 1 Introduction 2 Problem Statement 2 Purpose Statement 2 Research Questions 2 Significant Statement 3 Definition of Terms 3 Summary 3 Chapter 2 4 Overview 4 Definitions 4 Mental Health Professionals 7 Racial Microaggressions and Health 7 Racial Microaggressions, Physical Health and Mental Health 7 Assessing and Measuring Racial Microaggression 8 Chapter 3 13 Introduction 13 Article Selection and Search Strategy 13 Information Sources 14 Eligibility Criteria: Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria 14 Data Extraction Process 15 Data Analysis 17 Chapter 4 29 Introduction 18 Table 1 18 Table 2 25 Table 3 27 Table 4 29 Chapter 5 31 Introduction 31 Summary of Key Study Findings 31 Limitations 33 Recommendations 34 Conclusion 26 References 37

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