Department of Psychology

Departmental News & Events

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Searching for a Balm in Gilead: The HIV/AIDS Epidemic and the African American Church

In the African American community, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are major health threats (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2001; Hill, 1999). African Americans represent disproportionately more than half of the newly diagnosed cases of HIV (Balm in Gilead, 2001). The threat of HIV/AIDS to African Americans reaches across every age group. For instance, out of all the pediatric AIDS cases, the majority (65%) of the children in the United States living with AIDS are African American (CDC, 2001) and among adolescents between the ages of 13 and 19, African Americans represent over sixty
percent of the reported cases (CDC, 2001). The infection rates among African American adults is equally alarming and surpassing cancer, heart disease, and homicide, HIV/AIDS ranks as the leading cause of death for African American adults between the ages of 25 and 44 (Balm in Gilead, 2001).

Balance

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Balance: Advancing Identity Theory by Engaging the Black Male Adolescent

Scholarly research and depictions within popular culture present black males largely on the basis of their being caricatures— entities that extend not far beyond stereotypical celluloid, televised explanations, print articles, and selective hip-hop commentary. Even within institutions and among individuals that are assumed to have the best interest of the black male at center, there is often an inability to consider them past a faux orbit of one-dimensionality.

Balance is unique in that it approaches Black males from a well-rooted personality perspective within context and utilizes discourse analysis in attempts at advancing identity theory.

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