“Now We’re All Family”: Exploring Social and Emotional Development in a Summer Hip Hop Mixtape Camp
Child and adolescent mental health indicators were trending in the wrong direction pre-COVID-19 and have worsened with the exacerbation of life stressors during a pandemic, especially among youth of color and girls (Racine et al. in JAMA Pediatr 175:1142-1150, 2021). Hip Hop integrated group work with adolescents has increased in the literature, with an emphasis on being more culturally responsive and engaging compared to traditional therapeutic approaches. Levy and Travis (J Spec Group Work 45:307-330, 2020) found in their research that while all Hip Hop integrated groups were effective, the semi-structured group had the most significant reduction in symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety, compared to the highly structured and minimally structured groups. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether a Hip Hop integrated intervention, that is multi-modal and interdisciplinary (i.e., blending two distinct models [HHE/CCMC] and facilitated by a social worker and school counselor). could effectively promote positive social and emotional development, across three leadership styles. Three groups of six high school students (total n = 18), identifying predominantly as Latinx and Black, were selected from a high school summer enrichment program. Results suggest social and emotional benefits for youth across all groups, regardless of facilitation style. Benefits included increased confidence, a strong sense of community, experiencing joy, and a willingness to step outside of their comfort zones to collaborate and create something personally meaningful. The setting (summer) and sample (high school students) have implications for programming and policies to best meet the mental health needs of youth year round and during times of instability.
mental health, empowerment, SEL, prevention, hip hop, Social Work
Travis, R. Levy, I. P., & Morphew, A. C. (2022). "Now we're all family": Exploring social and emotional development in a summer hip hop mixtape camp. Child Adolescent Social Work Journal, pp. 1-18.