Young African American Males: Barriers to Access to Health Care


African American males continue to experience an unacceptable and disproportionate number of health disparities when compared with other racial and ethnic groups. Young African American males can expect to live the least amount of time when compared to any other ethnic minority or racial sub-group. Understanding the obstacles and barriers that impede access to health care and wellness services among young African American males is essential to begin the process of decreasing health disparities. The goal of this qualitative study was to explore and identify the barriers experienced by young African American males in accessing health care services while also creating a rare opportunity to give voice to young African American males. The study results indicate that young African American males have multiple perceptions of barriers to health care services. Their perceptions fell into three categories: the negative impact of environment or community, lack of finances or no insurance, and distrust of medical practices associated with race history resulting in accessing healthcare as a last resort. Additional research is needed to craft community-based programs to: a) educate young African American males on the importance of preventative strategies to maintain wellness; and b) ensure that the appropriate medical and wellness services are available and reaching young African American males in need.

Publication Title

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment