African American; Community-Based Participatory Research; Mental Health Services; Qualitative Research; Minority Health


Clinical Psychology | Community Psychology


Young Black/African American men are more likely to experience repeated trauma that escalates throughout young adulthood, compared to young White men. Exposure to trauma has impacts on mental health outcomes, but young Black men face substantial barriers to mental health care. In order to begin to address these disparities, it is imperative to increase understanding of the needs, preferences, and priorities of young Black men for mental health care services following trauma. Yet, young Black men are often underrepresented in mental health services research. The purpose of the current study was to describe strategies for recruitment of young Black men with previous trauma exposure from broad urban community settings in Kansas City, Missouri, for participation in a qualitative study exploring beliefs, attitudes, and norms regarding mental health care. A total of 70 young Black/African American men aged 18-30 completed the initial recruitment process, and 55 of these men were consented as participants who completed the study. The majority of participants were recruited from barbershops (n = 21), followed by community-wide events (n = 11) and referrals (n = 11). Few participants were recruited from faith-based settings. Strategies for facilitation of study recruitment and focus group attendance are discussed. These practices may contribute to development of mental health interventions that are relevant, feasible, and sustainable, as well as restoring and advancing research relationships with racial/ethnic minority populations and contributing to racial equity.