According to a study released by the American Journal of Public Health, aggressive policing likely has an adverse effect on the mental health of young men, particularly young black men in New York City.
The study appears to reveal higher rates of feelings of stress, anxiety and trauma in young men who experienced multiple stop-and-frisk encounters with police.
“Our findings suggest that proactive policing tactics have the potential to negatively impact the relationship between the community and police, as well as the mental health and well-being of community members,” Amanda Geller, a professor at New York University and lead author of the study, said in a statement.
The study surveyed more than 1,200 men between the ages of 18 and 26 in New York during a six-month period straddling 2012 and 2013. “Respondents reported high rates of police contact,” the study says. “Although 80% of respondents reported being stopped 10 times or fewer, more than 5% of respondents reported being stopped more than 25 times, and 1% of respondents reported more than 100 stops.”
Black men who experienced the harshest and most intrusive police stops reported higher levels of trauma and stress. Those who faced less intense encounters with police also reported symptoms.
Researchers say the feelings could be related to other factors such as poverty in addition to police stops, but that the correlation between intense anxiety and intrusive stops should raise concerns about how communities are policed.
The results also suggested a higher prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms among black respondents who had run-ins with police.
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