African-American Youth at Risk: Stress a Factor, but Type Important

Medical Xpress, July 16, 2012

Exposure to stress can increase the risk for violent behaviors and depressive symptoms for African-American young adults. Different types of stress, particularly racial discrimination, can influence the level of this risk, finds a new study by Lorena Estrada-Martínez, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

The study, to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, examined whether different kinds of stressors equally influence the risk for violent behaviors and depressive symptoms among African Americans transitioning into young adulthood (ages 19-25).

“Results indicate that stressors do not equally impact the risk for violent behavior,” Estrada-Martínez says.

“African-American youth who were at greatest risk for engaging in violent behaviors while transitioning into adulthood were those who experienced higher levels of racial discrimination in addition to general daily stressors.

“Contrary to expectations, stress that stemmed from financial shortage and neighborhood stress were not associated with the risk of violent behaviors during emerging adulthood,” she says. She notes that risk for violent behaviors decreased over time.


Estrada-Martínez and colleagues used data from 604 African-American youths who participated in the Flint Adolescent Study, a longitudinal study that began tracking students in the ninth grade into adulthood.

She says that intervention efforts that focus on helping people to manage the stress that comes from being subjected to overt and more subtle forms of racial discrimination may lessen some of their effects.

“It’s important to note that racial discrimination serves as a lightning rod for violent interactions and must be eliminated from society at the structural level,” Estrada-Martínez says.

She cautions that researchers and policy makers must begin to think critically about how policies may perpetuate discrimination and develop policies that can help eliminate institutionalized racial discrimination.

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • mikejones91

    The most violent blacks live among PRIMARILY blacks. When your in a neighborhood that is 99% black–you get a job in YOUR black neighborhood–You go to school in YOUR black neighborhood. Darn–_This white privilege thing can get you Anywhere/ Who knew?  

    • JackKrak

      Exactly. I’m guessing that 95%+ of the brothas in Detroit, for example, don’t personally know a white person with the possible exception of some do-gooder public defender or government face. Where does this “stress” from “discrimination” come from? And besides, when has anyone ever seen a black person stressed from anything except maybe worrying if he was going to be able to get the new Air Jordans on release day or not? Stress comes from self-consciousness and self-awareness, higher mental states that blacks rarely cross into.

      Of course, none of this will stop academics and people like Dr. (ha!) Estrada-Martinez from advancing this nonsense.

      • mikejones91

        Exactly. Blacks are typically very laid backed. However the term is different for us. A laid back white person usually isn’t violent. Even more dangerous lol. 

    • joewest666

      when blacks are sprinkled in a group of whites watch how they react and interact..they toe the line.. they try to be accepted.. in large group environments of blacks interacting they try their damnest to outchimp each other.


      • JohnEngelman

        The typical white liberal who does so much to suppress a real dialogue on race that would include black social pathology only knows a few blacks. These few are exceptional, or they occupy subordinate positions without resentment. 
        I order to know what blacks are really like in the aggregate one needs to interact with them on terms of approximate equality in an environment where they are in the clear majority.  

  • Up to my neck in CA

    All you need to know:

    ” a new study by Lorena Estrada-Martínez”

    Another “Wise Latina” to point her finger at evil Whitey.

    • Detroit_WASP

      As a former educator this
      “study” does not surprise me.

      Yes, yet another pseudo
      intellectual social science major pointing the finger at whitey.

      This is really a chicken
      and egg argument. Which came first, violent black people with an IQ of 75 (Africa’s average), or evil white people?

       In other words, did evil white people make blacks
      the way they are?

      The answer is obvious to
      anyone with a brain and who knows human history. The race that split the atom,
      put a man on the moon and cured Polio are intellectually superior to the race
      that never invented the wheel. I’ll let you guess which race is which!

      The race that has more
      testosterone and lower IQ is more violent and less successful than the race
      with less testosterone and higher IQs. 
      So, naturally the race with the lower IQs and more violent behavior has
      an inferiority complex.

      So, one must admit to the
      truth or create another truth through a process of tortured and convoluted
      logic like this study has. 

      People who are “racist”
      will not believe the study while “smart” people will see the underlying causes
      of black violence.  So, if you agree, you
      are smart, if you don’t you are an ignorant racist. 


      In my opinion, this study is itself a trick to get people to believe in the politically
      correct viewpoint.    

      •  Personally, I think black-haters like you are just jealous of the black man’s sexual and athletic prowess.

        Isn’t that your argument, with different serial numbers?

    • Marcus Trajanus

      Spanish names don’t equal non-White ancestry or anti-White views. Someone called Lorena Estrada-Martinez could be a pro-White, European woman. That’s not the case here, obviously,  this Estrada-Martinez is an anti-White mestiza, but virulent anti-White racists can also be called “Jane Elliot”.

  • mikejones91

    One more thing—Its cultural/genetic (possibly). Definitely NOT societal.

  • chuck_2011

    i don’t believe for  a minute all the mumbo-jumbo about how racial discrimination makes them violent. these blacks don’t live i good areas so its a case of monkee-see monkee-do. and they are too stupid to know any differently.

  • Didnt they come out with some adverse affects of moms smoking crack a few years ago?

  • Up to my neck in CA

    News out of the SF Bay Area.

    “We want free transit for all youth,” organizers said in a written statement. “No youth should have to worry about losing his or her life for not having a $2 transit fare.”

    “Police initially said Harding was shot after an exchange of gunfire with officers after he tried to avoid paying Muni fare. However, investigators later said that the gun that fired the fatal shot did not belong to police and that Harding appeared to have shot himself.”

    • ncpride

      There is a similar story in the Charlotte area. A black guy was shot and killed by police after he pulled a gun on them. Of course, all the blacks are trying to make an issue of it saying the cop only shot him because he’s black. Riiiight…. I can tell you with 100% certainty if you pull a gun on police they WILL shoot you, no matter your color. Their tired excuses and fake outrages are getting past old.

  • libertarian1234

    This Lorena Estrada-Martínez, and the deniers in the black communities throughout the country including the self-hating, airhead white liberals, are making the situation much worse by acting as apologists and excusers for black criminals.

    From every indication so far, it’s pretty obvious that things are going to continue to get worse, because the voices from the right crying out to bring these primitive retards under control are being ignored.

    In fact, it’s worse than that.  Authorities,  law enforcement,  the media and politicians are denying that there is a problem, pretending as if the violence is being perpetrated by “youths” or “teens,” and there is no racial component to any of it.

    I have a hunch that they’re going to be singing a different tune as the situation continues to deteriorate to the point where it impacts their lives some way.  And it will.

  • MekongDelta69

    Lorena Estrada-Martínez, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Another ‘study'[sic] by a minority at a leftist college.

    That’s ALL you need to know…

  • LaSantaHermandad

    Estimada Profesora Estrada- Martinez ,
    Con todo respeto, ud. está hablando a través de su culo.
    There IS NO RACIAL DISCRIMINATION against these “young adults” . Let’s top blaming WHITE PEOPLE for the short comings and incapacities of BLacks. Their stress comes as a result of non- parenting, watching their so called mothers screwing multiple so called men daily, seeing their so called mothers high on crack, and being high on crack themselves. Their stress is also caused by their being forced to attend school and learn some skills that perhaps will aid them in getting ahead in this world.  They don’t “transition” ( which isn’t a verb. With a Ph.D you should know that) into young adulthood  on an emotional level but rather remain big, strong and dangerous post toddlers until their demise. If there WERE any racial discrimination from non- Blacks it was PRECISELY BECAUSE of their tendency to violent behavior. Do you think perhaps that unprovoked attacks on Whites and other non- Blacks may act as a fertile ground for planting seeds of mistrust and racial discrimination?Sixty years of cowtowing, AA, entitlements and reverse discrimination on behalf of these people has yielded nothing but a blood harvest: OUR BLOOD.

  • I LOVE how the study NEVER asks, WHY was there racial discrimination directed at these African youths.  This is important because racial discrimination in the US today is simply asking a black person to do ANYTHING, be it picking up after themselves, asking them not to swear in front of little kids, or simply looking at them the wrong way.  Laterius and Quantifilladiuouys were asked to leave the local pool by the white lifeguard for fighting and they feel that they were racially discriminated against so they went and played “Knock out King” with Mr. Dan O’brien.

    • MekongDelta69

      YO – I wuz gonna names mah chillin’ Quantifilladiuouys. U be dissin’ me. Tahm ta throw dahn brah.

  • Vil

    Sooo, some blacks in Africa, who have no contact with white people, also act that way because whites discriminate them?

    And how can black people feel stress in the first place? Something must be expected of you first, like behaving like a normal human being or having a job where you have a deadline on something.

  • It’s not like she attached tiny cameras to their foreheads for a year and then meticulously reviewed all the footage to identify the ones who had experienced racism. She just found some violent blacks, asked them why they were violent, and somehow, “it be whitey fault” is the answer she came back with.

    Now, not even a fool would believe this was real science. I’d love to see one of her interviews with a subject to see the leading and prompting that went on, and the reinforcement when they gave the “correct” answer.

  • Church_of_Jed

    White Humanity could make black violence disappear instantly if we would all just “do more to undo” our racist unearned White privilege.

    (There is no such thing as earned White privilege, because as our Obamau-mau told us yesteray, if you build a business, you didn’t really do it.  That’s a pillar of the slavery reparations theology- everything Whites have today is because of the stolen labor from enslaved African Americans who really built America, and Whites owe it all back to them.)

    • Up to my neck in CA

      “…everything Whites have today is because of the stolen labor from enslaved African Americans who really built America, and Whites owe it all back to them.”

      How true you are.

      • MekongDelta69

        It’s not about being right.

        Gotsta luv dat video!!

      • Church_of_Jed

        I’m on her side.  We should join our White privilege with her voodoo Diversity and unite the the blacks in Righteous Racism against recent “immigrant communities”.

        Awaiting Bernie Goldberg to explain “Race and the Family Structure” (science fiction) on O’Reilly.

  • Sloppo

    It’s difficult for blacks to avoid violence because they are brought up in bad areas.  It’s difficult to get around that problem because if you move some of them to a good area, they’ll quickly turn it into another bad area.  

    •  Liberals embrace these conundrums because it is better than the alternative, which would be to admit the possibility of biological explanations for racial differences in behavior.

      • Rocky Bass,

         That’s the crime that contains all other crime (1984 reference). From there all egalitarian bull excrement ends, and the system knows it.

  • If being around whites causes stress for blacks, the solution is for blacks to not be around whites.

    THANK YOU Ms.  Estrada-Martínez for helping to show everyone that integration is stressful for blacks.

  • First, I must say that I disagree with comments that label all black people as violent.  However, the study in question is an example of a PC minority excusing other minorities.  The woman who wrote it will be congratulated by her PC colleagues and given a raise and possibly a promotion even though it’s nonsense.  Obviously, when people self report they will choose to blame anything that gives them an out.  “The porn made me do it, the stress made me do it, the poverty made me do it, etc.”  These young hooligans lack self control because they choose not to embrace self control.  It makes them feel good to do their own thing.  Their peers egg them on and their parents do not care.  The problem for the rest of us is how to break the cycle without bankrupting the country.  No wonder gated communities are so popular, but costly to move into.

    • Sloppo

      I seriously doubt that anyone here thinks that all blacks are violent.  On the other hand, the reality that most of us understand is that the black average violent crime rates are indeed very different than whites or east asians.  Blacks have violent crime rates between 7 and 1000 times higher than whites depending on the category, but it is also true that many blacks behave well.  Unfortunately, the worst behaving individuals tend to have a much stronger influence on the quality of life in a community than the best examples.  If you live in a community of 90% solid citizens and 10% violent gangsters, you live in an awful neighborhood.  It is very much like mixing 90% delicious vanilla ice cream with 10% chicken manure.  

    • mikejones91

      You can’t break the cycle. Simply put—Think of rap music as the soundtrack to their “behavior”. 

    • These young hooligans lack self control because they choose not to embrace self control.

      There is every reason to believe that black lack of self-control is down to their genes.

  • Shawn_thefemale

    OR…..  Violent behaviors are the cause of more racial discrimination and daily stressors among   
    African Americans.

    • Rocky Bass,

      There you go again, putting the horse in FRONT of the wagon! What kind of an idiot are you?!?!? Everyone with a PHD in sociology knows darn well that causation trails effect.

      • Shawn_thefemale

         Sorry, my whiteness is showing

  • Rocky Bass,

    “Running our lives”, sorry for the piddly correction, but shouldn’t that be “ruining our lives”?

    • Sherman_McCoy

      The US IS technically BRA (Black Run America).

  • Biff_Maliboo

    “It’s important to note that racial discrimination serves as a lightning
    rod for violent interactions and must be eliminated from society at the
    structural level,” Estrada-Martínez says.

    Hear that?

    You had it coming…

  • Rocky Bass,

    “Around BLACKS NEVER RELAX”, or more rightly, “Around BLACKS, MOVE!”

    • Sherman_McCoy

      As has been aptly put, ” Avoid the ‘groid.”

  • Rocky Bass,

     The lessons are there to be learned, too bad there are still so many blind idealog whites, if only all could share your experiences or mine. Cullen Elementary, some recall my account of watching a little black male take a dump behind an opened  classroom door. A pollock buddy Steve B. gets credit with stopping me from smearing it’s nose in it’s business and throwing it outside.
    Blacks in some cases do not deserve the title “human”.

    • Sherman_McCoy

      I believe that would depend upon the amount of white DNA they have.  

      Unfortunately, even “one drop” could be the one that causes low intelligence and tendency towards violence.

  • Rocky Bass,

     I just keep coming back to this, but here goes. The violence in Africa (even in places untouched by colonialism), is caused by some sort of “quantum entanglement racism” and we whites are ALWAYS able to FORCE blacks into violence with it, regardless of geographical distance. Mark my words the writeup on this “theory” is in the works.

  • As long as these pretend PhD’s publish these contrived results, misplace the blame and avoid the truth, the problem will persist.  I would like to see if their study included the effects of not having a father in the home, the glorification of the angry black male, the false sense of victimhood, the exaggeratted sense of discrimination, lack of morals, lack of parental supervison, lack of responsibility, the prevalent single mother syndrome, witnessing violence in the home and neighborhood and the general diversion of blame away from the black people as a whole had anything to do with young black violence.  Maybe they should also measure how deeply they were taught reswhites and whether or not that contributes to their violent nature. But then again, I am not a PhD, I am only using common-sense, but still I think those issues might be worthy of study and discussion as well.

  • Sherman_McCoy

    They are also violent when they are “upper class.”

  • TonyWestfield

    “She cautions that researchers and policy makers must begin to think critically about how policies may perpetuate discrimination and develop policies that can help eliminate institutionalized racial discrimination.”
    Gee, I hadn’t heard that Rip Van Winkle changed his name to Lorena Estrada-Martínez, PhD…”must begin to think…and develop policies”?  Really?  What year is it?  Haven’t we been thinking and developing policies, ad nauseam, for the last half century?  Or maybe Professor Estrada-Martinez had a slip of the tongue (or the pen) because she was in a hurry — on her way to a Malcolm X rally at some St. Louis venue that was torn down in 1966.

    Enough, already!  Reminds me of the same old boilerplate recycled drivel that we hear now from the Obama-Holder regime when they declare that America needs to have “a national dialogue on race.”  Can any of us take a breath — just one breath — without choking on the dialogue on race?

    And somebody should tell Rip Van Estrada-Martinez that “institutionalized racial discrimination” was torn up by the roots in the 1950’s and 1960’s when we slit the throat of our Constitution — the right to private property, free speech, thoughts, free association, freedom of contract, etc. — all sacrificed on the altar of so-called “civil rights” which still, to this day, after centuries of use, is a term with no clear definition (and therefore no limits).

  • Grim Jim

    The absolute best and only way to end this mysterious discrimination problem is to enact segregation immediately and completely.

    • Agreed, though we need to get past the language problem here.  At least, I assume it’s a language problem.  Segregation and integration are two sides of the same coin.  The gov’t unjustly meddled in Americans’ affairs and forced segregation on them.  Then the gov’t unjustly meddled in Americans’s affairs and forced integration on them.  We should oppose the gov’t’s unjust meddling in our affairs, and demand the right to run our own lives.

      Free men have the right to separate.  Just as the right of contract cannot exist apart from the right not to enter a contract, Freedom of Association cannot exist apart from Freedom of disassociation. Liberals can understand and advocate no-fault divorce-on-demand, so this concept should not be difficult for them.

      Again, I agree with you whole-heartedly, but “segregation” isn’t the right word. I think “separation” works better if you’re grasping for a word and don’t have time to explain in detail.

  • How much longer will whites be blamed for black problems? 

    • ed91

       as long as it pays off………

  • JohnEngelman

    Why is it always our fault? 

  • TheTruthHurts4

     Violent behavior is the cause, rather than the result, of the racial prejudice most whites who have had extensive experience with blacks share. We see blacks up close every day and we know what they are like.

  • Ni123

    This…creature was biting, scratching, jumping on people, she knocked down the book shelf, she was biting the door KNOB and was trying to break the glass. The teachers called the cops and, of course, were later accused by that girl’s charming parents in not being able to find “the way to help that child”.

    The girl is ONLY 6 y.o. What kind of racial discrimination damage caused her to produce such a tantrum?

  • Ni123

    A 9 year old was asked to stop eating candy

    I guess it’s not a good example since 9 years is a long enough stretch to endure all types and forms of the evil white racism.

  • Is racial discrimination to blame for black violence?

    This is why leftists have to control the dialog.  So they can ask stupid questions like that one without anyone bringing up the obvious reply:

    Blacks have become more violent as their freedom increased and white discrimination decreased.

    Freedom is to blame for black violence.  Freedom and “anti-racism.”

  •  Most people don’t want to be forced to live in a society where they’re forced to have anything to do with anyone.  Or forced to pay anyone’s way.  Or forced to hire or sell to or rent to anyone.

    Most people, given the freedom to speak their minds and to think their own thoughts, would choose not to be forced to interact with anyone.  In fact, they might just take being forced to interact with someone as a reason to dislike the someone in question.

    Then, there are life’s undesirables, who see nothing but a personal downside to people having the right to disassociate from them.  And blacks are just the main, not the sole, constituency for this point of view.

  • Separation shows us the way to a discrimination-free America.  If all the evil YTs are allowed to separate themselves away from the poor, innocent, be-haloed POCs, no more discrimination problem.  No more lightning rod.  No more violent interactions between races.

  • Mr. Moderator, just curious – Jared’s respectable friends aren’t troubled by the comments here?  I mean, every day on this site, poor African-Americans are  likened to beasts, animals, sub-humans, etc.

    Just curious.  His friends seem so sensitive to certain issues, and so callous to others…

  • Ni123

    Buy the way, there are certain numbers of violent WHITE youth out there, and a fare share of them lives in white countries. I’m really curious what would be Ms.PHD’s perspective of the roots of this showing.

    Really, some women should just follow the “kinder küche kirche” pattern.

  • The Worlds Scapegoat

    “Exposure to stress can increase the risk for violent behaviors and
    depressive symptoms for African-American young adults. Different types
    of stress, particularly racial discrimination, can influence the level
    of this risk, finds a new study by Lorena Estrada-Martínez, PhD,
    assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St.

    This is complete B.S.

    I went through some extreme stress about 6 years ago. I would wake up in a pool of my own sweat: It looked like someone dumped water on me. The stress was caused by repeated bullying because of my parents country of origin (European). The (white) police protected the bullies and encouraged them. I neved became violent, but than I’m white.

    Remember nothing is their fault, and everything is our fault. The solution is always to open your wallet.