The study of sociology as a means to understanding the complex nature of human behavior particularly that of the minority populations such as the African Americans, has garnered increased interest and significance over the years…
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"A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth" Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow Introduction: The study of sociology as a means to understanding the complex nature of human behavior particularly that of the minority populations such as the African Americans, has garnered increased interest and significance over the years. The complex interactions between culture, race, ethnicity, and health and illness in the current era which affect the understanding of the manner in which communities behave and react provide a sound basis to analyze and confront various key issues related to such communities. This paper on African Experience, aims to assess the literature and present a brief critique about the issues faced by the black families as well as their communities while caring for a disabled child. It also discusses the interventions, policies and practical suggestions for mental health practitioners, to enable them to deal with such communities effectively. Summary of the article reviewed: This article discusses about the impact of raising a child with disability on the mental and physical health and well-being of urban African American families. It also highlights the various positive as well as negative social interactions among the family members and the extent to which such interactions influence the disability of the child. The article analyzes the manner in which parents adapt to such an environment and the level and extent of support available to them from their families. Critical application of theory: The article states that with regard to a minority population, there exist different factors which affect the mental and physical health and well-being of families belonging to racial-minority communities, raising a child with disability. The study found that African American mothers were far more likely than their White counterparts, to core side with their disabled children and were less likely to be married. Furthermore it was also observed that the African American families experienced more stress and extra challenges with regard to care giving due to limited socioeconomic and environmental resources at their disposal. Systems theory states that the manner in which individuals and families interact with one another depend highly on their environment. The family systems theory states that family is a system of inter-related parts and sub-parts which comprise of family members. These parts interact with one another in a unique manner typical to their sub-systems and such interactions motivate / influence the members to react in ways which may seem different or even abnormal to others (Comer and Gould, 2012). The study further stated that non-spousal support in African American families played a key role in influencing their health and well-being. It was also observed that African American families comprise of a core social network of extended families that often provide support and care and are known to be instrumental support systems. According to the family systems theory, the families are highly inter-dependent and there exist a symbiotic relationship between the family members. Families often interact and react to situations based on unconscious processes, and role assignments observed since generations. Such interactions and roles play a key role in influencing their behavior and affect their caring and therapeutic tendencies, feelings of attachment and behavioral patterns, and co-dependencies (Jurkovic, 1997). The role of
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