Boys and men of color are exposed to traumatic experiences at significantly higher rates than are other demographic groups. To understand and address the mental and behavioral health effects of trauma, including violent incidents, on this population, we review the literature showing the context for, outcomes of, and potential responses to trauma exposure. We present the existing research about the unique challenges and associated negative outcomes for boys and men of color, as well as identify the gaps in the literature. We present the potential nurturing responses by systems such as schools, law enforcement, and communities to trauma-exposed boys and men of color, and we describe evidence-based programs and practices that directly address trauma. Finally, we argue that, rather than using a deficit model, a model of optimal development can be used to understand how to support and protect boys and men of color through nurturing environments.
Nurturing environments for boys and men of color with trauma exposure