The African American Student Network: An Informal Networking Group as a Therapeutic Intervention for Black College Students on a Predominantly White Campus

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Informal support networks as opposed to formal mental health counseling may represent a culture-specific, indigenous style of coping for Black college students. Using the African American Student Network (or as students refer to it AFAM), this article comments on the potential of an informal networking group as a culturally sensitive therapeutic intervention. Along with a description of the group process is a discussion of traditional therapeutic factors associated with group work in students' lived experience of AFAM. The major contention is that even in an informal networking setting, the group process associated with counseling or therapy may occur and generate therapeutic factors. To more fully explore this idea, future development and study of informal networking groups for Black students on predominantly White campuses is recommended. This line of inquiry may have important implications for the development of culturally sensitive mental health practices that better support the psychological health and well-being of Black college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-184
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • African American student network
  • Black college students
  • culturally sensitive counseling intervention
  • informal networking groups
  • therapeutic intervention

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