Exploring Self-Perception and Mental Health Wellness among Racialized Afro-Latinos in the United States
Allen Eugene Lipscomb1, PsyD, LCSW Vierre Stevenson, MSW

Introduction: This study explores the racial experiences among racialized Afro-Latinx people living in the United States and its implications on self-perception and overall mental health and wellness. Methods: The study aims to provide insight to the unique experiences among Afro-Latinx individuals in the United States utilizing a two-pronged qualitative phenomenological inquiry methodology. The research questions were the following: (1) What role do physical characteristics such as skin color and hair texture play in relation to mental health and self-perception? (2) What role does cultural connectivity through language acquisition, fluency and cultural practices have on mental health and self-perception? (3) What role does systemic and interpersonal (both inter and intra cultural) acts of oppression and racialization among Afro-Latinx people have on their mental health and self-perception? And finally, (4) What can be done to better serve and advocate for Afro-Latinx people in the United States as it relates to self-perception and mental health wellness while entering adulthood? Results: Findings suggest complexities around various identity markers, characteristics, and experiences of individuals in this community provide insight into unique challenges and overall experiences by this population and provide helping professionals with information that could be helpful in guiding their entrance into adulthood. Conclusion: These results indicate the need for human service professionals working with the Afro-Latinx community in the United States to utilize critical race (CRT) theoretical framework to understand the role self-perceptions, recognition and connections plays on mental wellness among this population.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jssw.v10n2a1