The Impact Of Having Few Black Male School Psychologists

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

Black male psychologists

Education fields are dominated by women. Classrooms are often occupied by female teachers, school nurses are rarely ever men, and now some are questioning the impact of the fact that very few black men become school psychologists. In school, mental health care professionals are needed now more than ever, yet the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) estimates that less than 1% are black male psychologists.

While black male psychologists are lacking, young black males are needing the most support in schools. They are the most likely to act out and need discipline, end up in special education programs, and be handled by police. This has been linked to issues that stem from fatherlessness in the household. It is well known that males raised by single mothers suffer from serious psychological issues. Thankfully the situation is improving.

In 2011 it was reported that 72% of black children were being raised by single mothers. The 2020 census revealed that this number has decreased. Now only 46.3% of black children are being raised by their mother alone, but despite this improvement, millions of young black males are struggling to find confidence and support from a male figure. Black male psychologists are needed to help these boys grow into healthy, happy men who value themselves. 

Unfortunately, black male psychologists are a rarity. Not because school programs aren’t readily available and scholarships are unattainable, but because so many young black men are not interested in the profession. Just as women generally do not wish to enter STEM fields as often as men, black males choose not to become psychologists because they do not want to.  

One black male psychologist described his experience entering college and admitted that he had never considered it before. He originally intended to go to law school. While he was studying as a University of Mississippi student he found some information on the profession and was impressed by how impactful and interesting it could be. He was enamored with all the tasks included in the profession, and “fell in love with it.”

All minority demographics are lacking in the profession, yet black male psychologists have become a main focus for some schools because of the need to help black boys succeed. When black males are better able to learn and work well with their peers the school environment is improved and everyone involved benefits. The question is, how do schools draw black men to the profession?

Black male psychologists

This is a question many colleges ask regarding education degrees in general. While black male psychologists are few, interest in the teaching profession has dropped. Very few young adults wish to teach and so more educators are retiring than are filling vacant positions. School staff, administration, and nurses are in high demand because interest in these roles is down as well. 

Also, more women are interested in teaching, or working with children, but with modern pushes to leave femininity and traditional roles behind, less young women wish to nurture younger generations through their work. 76.5% of teachers are women. Without them, children will not be able to get the education they need. 

Demographics and statistics may point out gaps and trends within subcultures, but they do not host the underlying issues that explain why certain people prefer to work in certain fields. While black male psychologists could potentially help young black male students succeed, so could having the support of a strong male role model. Increasing access and interest in the profession may help, but it won’t change the fact that education is a field that mostly draws in women. If schools are concerned about the mental well-being of young black students, offering partnerships with mentors and community leaders may also provide a stronger link to success.