GSS Associate Professor Jordan DeVylder, Ph.D., was recently quoted by NewScientist for an expert opinion on the reporting of police killings in the US and that reporting’s impact on Black people’s mental health.
The article, titled “Reporting of US police killings harms Black people’s mental health,” discusses the research done by David Curtis at the University of Utah and his colleagues. The researchers “wanted to understand how the mental health of Black individuals was affected after such events.”
The research team identified a number of high-profile “incidents of police killing Black individuals or subsequent legal decisions that occurred between 2013 and 2017” and conducted a survey which asked respondents “whether they experienced poor mental health days in the past month, including those related to stress, depression and problems with emotions.”
The results of the study found “Black respondents reported more poor mental health days during weeks when two or more of the selected events occurred in the country. Conversely, white respondents’ mental health wasn’t correlated to the timing of the events.”
In response to the evidence that increased exposure to reporting of police killings is harming Black people’s mental health, DeVylder said:
“There are currently reporting guidelines that outline best practice for reporting on suicide to help prevent copycat deaths. It may be time for similar guidelines around racist violence to help minimize the broader impact on Black American’s [sic]mental health.”