Challenges to engaging black male victims of community violence in healthcare research: Lessons learned from two studies

Sonia Schwartz, Joel Hoyte, Thea James, Lauren Conoscenti, Renee Johnson, Jane Liebschutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A dearth of literature exists on barriers to conducting research with Black male victims of community violence, despite the need for evidence-based postinjury interventions. This study used qualitative data from a cross-sectional interview study (n = 16) and a pilot intervention study (n = 11) conducted in Boston, MA to identify challenges and facilitators to conducting research with Black male victims of community violence, particularly with regard to recruitment and maintenance of a study sample. Qualitative methods, including Grounded Theory and ethnography, were used to analyze the data. Challenges included a fear of police involvement, an impression of "snitching" when disclosing personal information, mistrust of research motives, suspicion of the informed consent process, the emotional impact of the trauma itself, and logistical issues. Facilitators to research included monetary incentives and motivation to help oneself and others. Participant recommendations on recruitment methods relating to approach and timing are provided. Findings from this study may assist in the planning of research studies for Black male victims of community violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010



  • African American
  • community violence
  • qualitative research
  • research participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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