African-American Males Research Paper by writingsensation

African-American Males
An examination of the correlation between affective disorders, substance abuse and the criminal justice system in African-American males.
# 91172 | 2,412 words | 30 sources | MLA | 2006 | US

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The paper uses a literature review to evaluate what the relative strength of correlation is between substance abuse, affective disorders and incarceration in African American males. The strength of association is exampled from multiple populations including those incarcerated for petty theft, auto convictions, and those convicted of rape, murder or other forms of violent assault. The paper concludes that there is ample evidence from the literature supporting a relationship or correlation between substance abuse disorders, affective disorders and deviant behaviors among incarcerated African American males. However, there is also evidence suggesting that at present the criminal justice system in America is doing little do address the needs of this unique population.

Literature Review
Theories of Affective Disorders and Substance Abuse
Substance Abuse
Affective and Substance Abuse Problems Combined

From the Paper:

"The theoretical framework describing the relationship between affective disorders, substance abuse and deviant behavior is often referred to as the "anomie perspective" and may be defined as the lack of normalness that one experiences in their day to day existence (Shaw, 2002). Following this theory, African males experience "more moral confusion and difficulty assimilating to the normal cultural landscape of society" and hence demonstrate "extremism in behavior", in part as a result of their loss of perspective or reality (Shaw, 2002:6). Further individuals suffering this state tend to lead extremes of life feeling "they are above the law or social order of society" in many cases, or lamenting their sad existence, both of which may lead to individual affective inclinations or substance abuse patterns in African males (Shaw, 2002:6). "Failure, frustration and strain" experienced in ordinary life can also result in moral unsureness and "polarized reactions to societal events" (Shaw, 2002: 6). This in turn may cause someone to give up hope or due diligence, or their efforts toward conformity and contribute to deviant behavior. Under the framework of anomie, strain and "moral undecidedness or lessening in normative control feed back on each other making substance dealing, abuse and deviant behavior an acceptable reaction to life and reality" (Shaw, 2002:6)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bird, H.R., Cohen, P. Goodman, S., Hoven, C.W., Jensen, P.S., Moore, R., Tiet, Q.Q., Wicks, J. & Wu, P. (2001). "Relationship between specific adverse life events and psychiatric disorders." Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 29(2): 153.
  • Brady KT, Dansky BS, Saladin MS, Sonne SC. (1998). PTSD and cocaine dependence: Order of onset. Am J Addictions. 7(1):128-135.
  • Brady KT, Myrick H, McElroy S. (1998). The relationship between substance use disorders, impulse control disorders, and pathological aggression. Am J Addictions.7(1):221-230.
  • Cote, G. & Hodgins, S. (1991). "The mental health of penitentiary inmates in isolation." Canadian Journal of Criminology, 33(2): 176.
  • Cubbin, C., Pickle, L. W., & Fingerhut, L. (2000). Social context and geographic patterns of homicide among U.S. Black and White males. American Journal of Public Health, 90, 579-587.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

African-American Males (2006, December 24) Retrieved February 21, 2024, from

MLA Format

"African-American Males" 24 December 2006. Web. 21 February. 2024. <>