Ensuring the Well-being of Boys and Young Men of Color: Factors that Promote Success and Protect Against Substance Use and Misuse

Jun 22, 2016

Building on past and current work at the state and local level, SAMHSA's Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies has developed this tool to support prevention practitioners in identifying those factors that protect against substance abuse and misuse among boys and young men of color, as well as mitigate adverse experiences that affect this group, such as racial and ethnic discrimination. By understanding these factors, practitioners will be better positioned to assess, plan for, and select interventions designed to address them.

  • Far too often, practitioners tend to focus on deficits of or risks faced by youth of color.Although such a focus is important for identifying and alleviating sources of oppression, discrimination and economic inequality, concentrating on adversity has overshadowed the strengths or assets that communities of color summon to raise their children.
  • Health disparities are created and can be averted by considering multi-layered determinants of health behaviors. These levels include the Individual, Relationship, Community, and Societal. Within each level, the factors are further divided by study population. These include boys and/or young men of color; young populations (male and female) of color; and populations predominantly of color (more than 75% of the sample was ethnic/racial minority).