Culturally Relevant Stress Management Interventions for African American Male Youth



This workshop will present a culturally relevant intervention called PLAAY (Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth) that relies upon recast theory (Racial Encounter Coping Appraisal and Socialization Theory) and teaches participants about racial stress, literacy, and coping in its physical activity and group therapy components. The PLAAY components include teaching stress management during basketball and martial arts self-defense activities, racial and gender coping during group therapy sessions, and trauma resolution and healthy discipline strategies during parent group therapy sessions. A key theme is that racial and gender-related conflicts are resolvable through stress management and related to youth achievement and persistence in schooling. The more individuals can identify their stress reactions to racial and gender conflicts, can practice and manage those stressful encounters, the more they will develop a confidence around racial and gender rejections that influence youth development. Authority figure-youth relationships constitute powerful influences on children’s learning. This workshop will illuminate how racial and gender stress and coping undermine many of these authority-youth relationships and how to resolve these relationships toward healthier outcomes for youth.

Based on a recent book Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences that make a Difference, Dr. Stevenson will use five strategies to teach participants how to work more effectively with Black male youth who struggling with relationship and life rejection challenges. The five core teaching strategies include the use of storytelling, journaling, relaxation, debating, and role-playing. These five strategies are designed to develop skills in racial self-awareness, self-appraisal, self-care, self-control, and self-expression.


Organizations may propose a team of a minimum of 3 and maximum 5 members. Organizations that would benefit from the training include schools, community-based health agencies, recreation departments, religious leadership programs, youth development and mentoring programs. Participants should include clinicians, program managers, administrators and community members. These individuals should working with youth as counselors, teachers, therapists, program managers in both face-to-face situations (mentoring or therapy) and/or program level administration situations (referral agents or directors of programs).


Participants will learn:

  • how to use in-the-moment stress reduction strategies when working with Black male youth
  • latest research on culturally relevant interventions with youth and it’s application to community based mental health services
  • how to negotiate a racially stressful encounter with youth, families, or colleagues
  • latest measures that seek to demonstrate racial literacy has been accomplished by staff and students within an intervention model
  • how racial stress influences negative health outcomes for Black youth and families
  • how to apply a theory of racial stress and coping within intervention work with youth and families of color


Dr. Howard Stevenson
Professor of Education and Africana Studies
University of Pennsylvania

Important dates

  • Pre-work Webinar: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm ET 
  • On site Training: April 6 - April 9, 2014 (Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico)
  • Coaching call: To be determined with each organizational team

Post-Training Webinars:

  • Thursday, June 12, 2014 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET
  • Tuesday, July 8, 2014 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET
  • Tuesday, August 5, 2014 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

Information for all webinars is posted on the Discussion Forum under the "Meeting and Logistics" thread.


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