Thesis of Gabbidon and Unnerver’s Theory of African American Offending (ToAAO)
Summarize and cite thesis of G&U’s ToAAIO
Gabbidon’s thesis may well be supported by research on Adverse or traumatic ChildhoodExperiences (ACEs). Certainly an implication of ACEs theory would be a continuation into adulthood of traumatic racism related experiences in childhood. But there is no reason to believe stress and trauma’s contribution to “allostatic load” (described following) is limited to childhood experiences and doubtless there is research to the contrary. If the cumulative effects of major racism-related trauma and/or the cumulative effect of daily racially motivated micro-aggression constitutes a form of trauma then ACEs theory and research can likely be cited in support of Gabbidon’s ToAAO.
Allostasis refers to the way the brain and body respond to challenges or stresses: by reacting, adapting and then recovering. But if the stress is extreme, negative and unrelenting, the brain and body pay a price. That accumulated wear-and-tear, called allostatic load, can cause chemical imbalances, accelerate certain diseases, and even alter brain structures. Genetics, early brain development, the social and physicalenvironment, diet and other behaviors can all influence a person’s allostatic load.
When children are exposed to multiple traumatic events, such as ongoing physical or sexual abuse, witnessing family or community violence, or separation from family members, they may suffer complex trauma, with deep and long-lasting effects on their ability to think, learn and relate to others. Research has shown that the more ACEs a person has, the higher his or her risk for problems including addiction, chronic physical conditions, depression and anxiety, self-harming behaviors, and other psychiatric disorders.
Elijah Anderson Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies at Yale University
Anderson developed the Code of the Street model out of 14 years of ethno-graphic research and sociological analysis of a Philadelphia neighborhood. His writing explains how how racism, the deteriorating economic base of inner city neighborhoods and resulting social dysfunction have given rise to a world view and behavioral schema Anderson calls the Code of the Street. His research and writing explains both both the adaptive rationality of the Code of the Street and how it accounts for many of the social and behavioral dysfunctions of communities and individuals socialized as per the Code of the Street. The Code of the Street model has been validated and extended in over 25 years of research in multiple academic disciplines.
Jamie Fader Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Temple University
Fader brings Anderson’s Code of the Street concept to bear on the her analysis of how Samenow and Yochelson’s Criminal Personality Theory, (which is virtually canonical in criminal justice theory and juvenile justice clinical treatment) uniquely problematic for African American juvenile offenders socialized to the Code of the Street, especially as applied in practice in most residential juvenile justice facilities.
James Barrett and Janice Kupersmidt Havard Medical School and CEO / Senior Research Scientist Innovative Research and Training, respectively
James Barrett is an Instructor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. However, it is his work with youth in Cambridge, Massachusetts schools and those involved with the Cambridge Police Department that is most relevant to this project. While teaching cognitive behavioral anger management Dr. Barrett kept getting push back from African American youth clients from tough inner city neighborhoods. He concluded this was due to their socialization by a widely shared survival-oriented ethos Elijah Anderson calls the Code of the Street. Barrett partnered with research and clinical child psychologist Janice Kupersmidt, developer/author of multiple evidence-based intervention curricula and programs, in developing the Fight Navigator program. Fight Navigator takes account of the Code of the Street in helping urban youth identity strategies for avoiding violent conflict that doesn’t cost them peer respect or undermine their street rep. Fight Navigator is arguably the first and currently only other known anger management and violence prevention program/curriculum that exemplifies Non-coercive Adversary Behavior Management, though its development predates NABM’s conceptualization by several years.
Ta-Nehisi Coates Author, journalist, educator and comic book writer, (Marvel Comics’ Black Panther and Captain America)
As profound as Ta-Nehisi Coates’ is as a commentator on and analyst of issues relevant to this project, his primary value in terms of NAMB curriculum content is as a source of compellingly written biographical anecdotes in his books and articles that illustrate theoretical concepts and content drawn from academic research. Coates’ is only the first of what will become many African American stories and voices enlisted to communicate and illustrate Non-coercive Adversary Behavior Management curricula content to urban youth out of a shared community context. However, few other voices can match Coates’ combination of literary and theoretical heft and the pop culture cachet as a writer of superhero comic books.