The Police, Black and Hispanic Boys: A Dangerous Inability to Mentalize (Special Issue on Health Disparities, Trauma, Disruptive and Criminal Behaviors and the Adolescent Brain).
Vaughans, Kirkland C. Harris, Lisa.
Published: July-September 2016
Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy
Vol. 15, No. 3 , p. 171-178
Taylor and Francis Group
530 Walnut Street Suite 850
Philadelphia, PA 19106
In this article the authors attempt to explore the contemporary socially toxic situation between Black and Hispanic male youth and police officers from both a historical perspective and through the lens of the psychoanalytic concept of mentalization. As a result of the failure to mentalize Black and Hispanic male youth they are not depicted as vulnerable or in need of guidance and support but rather their behavior are quickly criminalized resulting in a punitive social response. The authors conclude that effective change warrants multiple systems to address this situation, including mental health, education, criminal justice system, as well as the creation of employment opportunities. (Author abstract)
juvenile delinquency; minority groups; African Americans; Hispanics; law enforcement; conflicts; adolescents; cultural competency; professional training