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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Racism-Based Trauma and Policing Among Black Emerging Adults
by Motley, Robert O., Jr., Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2021, 203; 28318644
Abstract (Summary)

Community violence exposure (CVE) among Black emerging adults ages 18-29 in the United States is a major public health concern. However, an unknown is the nature of the relationship between Black emerging adults CVE and substance use when the perpetrator(s) of the violence are the police and the violence is experienced as a race-based traumatic event.

The Classes of Racism Frequency of Racial Experiences (CRFRE) measure assesses individuals’ exposure to perceived racism-based events. However, the CRFRE hostile-racism scale does not capture the range of police violent events that are most salient for a population. To fill the noted gaps in science, this dissertation conducted focus groups and cognitive interviews to develop key survey items capturing exposure to perceived racism-based police violence that were added to the CRFRE hostile racism scale and examined the mediating role of race-based trauma symptoms in the relationship between exposure to racism-based police violence and substance use for a sample of Black emerging adults in St. Louis, Missouri (n = 344).

Participant narratives from focus groups and cognitive interviews generated 16 survey items capturing exposure to racism-based police violence. The modified CRFRE measure showed strong psychometric properties and results revealed that avoidance was a significant mediator in the relationship between exposure to hostile police violence racism and illicit drug use problems. This dissertation advances our methodology for quantifying exposure to perceived racism-based police violence and elucidates specific pathways to illicit drug use problems that can be targeted by behavioral health professionals working with Black emerging adults.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Joe, Sean
Commitee: McQueen, Amy, Bucholz, Kathleen, Brownson, Ross, Edmond, Tonya
School: Washington University in St. Louis
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 82/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, African American Studies, Criminology
Keywords: African American, Emerging adults, Police, Racism, Substance use, Trauma
Publication Number: 28318644
ISBN: 9798582577225
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