EMBRacing Racial Stress and Trauma


The goal of this article is to report initial feasibility and coping response data from a pilot study of a new five-session intervention (Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race [EMBRace]) for Black families utilizing racial socialization to address stress and trauma from racial encounters. Ten caregiver and youth dyads were enrolled and completed the EMBRace intervention. Feasibility was based on a closed-option survey for therapists as well as open-ended participant responses to program satisfaction post-intervention.

Responses to stress management were assessed via repeated measures of self-reported coping strategies throughout the sessions. EMBRace was deemed to be acceptable by the majority of therapists and participants with regard to discussing racial encounters. Participant responses were categorized into five primary codes, including advice, clinician approach, program changes, likes, and dislikes. Participants’ coping data throughout the intervention indicates changes in the hypothesized direction (e.g., increased attention to and identification of stressor and decreased stress). The pilot data indicate the desirability of the intervention as well as useful participant feedback for future iterations of EMBRace.

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