children and adolescents who are exposed to violence on a chronic basis do not receive mental health services within the African American community. Community mistrust and lack of cultural awareness are amongst the barriers cited for the low help-seeking behavior of African Americans.
Lack of cultural understanding can lead to inaccurate diagnosis and inappropriate intervention, which increases mistrust of the mental health system. (cite) Many African Americans forgo treatment largely due to receiving mental health services from clinicians who do not understand their experiences. Those who do seek mental health services are largely misdiagnosed and receive inappropriate or unnecessary treatment, which can increase attrition rates.
post-traumatic stress disorder and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) risk behaviors among a random sample of 241 low-income women in an urban emergency department. The study disclosed a series of behavior patterns in women with PTSD. Women who suffered from PTSD were more prone to participate in sexual relations with men who didn’t practice protected sex. These men are considered to be risky partners, which are those who are involved in sexual relations with multiple partners without protection. The results showed that a high percentage of women who were dealing with PTSD also tested positive for HIV.
The relationship between PTSD and HIV is similar to the relationship between PTSD and other behaviors. PTSD causes emotions and practices that for its victims, seem to be uncontrollable.The study also found that victims of PTSD lacked basic social norms, with triggers causing them to act out. The women who participated in unpracticed sex also suffered from feelings of avoidance, hyper-arousal, and re-experienced trauma. The purpose for many within these communities is not about living but about survival.
The purpose is lost through the experience of abuse, and reasoning is replaced by self-justice; all attributes that these factors contribute to create a self-willed constitution in many of these students, who then take these with them into the classroom. “Community violence is a social phenomenon that adversely impacts youth from poverty-stricken neighborhoods.” Specifically, adolescents, males, members of nondominant race/ethnicity groups, and low-income individuals have a higher probability of being exposed to violence.