Hispanic and black boys and youth, with some exceptions, generally experience worse outcomes than their male white counterparts.
Part of the recent concern for young males focuses in particular on boys of color, whose experience may reflect an intersection of race and gender that puts them at a dual disadvantage.
Racial/ethnic disparities are evident early in life. Black and Hispanic young boys are less likely than their white peers to be read to frequently, or told stories-both important early-literacy-promoting activities. Young Hispanic and black boys are much less likely to have their parents take them on frequent outings into the community-activities that help all children develop background knowledge important for literacy. Black males (but not Hispanic males) are much more likely than their white counterparts to have a television, computer, or other electronic device in their room (72 versus 54 percent, respectively). Research finds that having these devices in a child’s room may interfere with getting adequate sleep, as well as make it more difficult for parents to monitor the quantity and quality of their child’s time with these.
When it comes to the school setting, Hispanic males (according to their parents) have the highest level of engagement, followed by whites and blacks. However, both black and Hispanic males are more likely than their white peers to have been retained in grade. Gaps in academic achievement associated with race and Hispanic origin are well documented. Black males are more likely than whites to be the subject of a school’s contacting parents to report problems, although studies examining racial differences in student behavior have generally failed to find significant differences. Both Hispanic and black young males are less likely than their white peers to have a non-parental adult they can rely on. Both black and Hispanic boys are less likely than white boys are to participate in after-school activities, including sports and clubs.
Both black and Hispanic young males are more likely than white young males to have experienced a number of potentially traumatic events associated with later stress-related illnesses. These include witnessing domestic violence, being exposed to financial hardship, having been a victim of or witness to neighborhood violence, and having experienced racism. Black males are more likely than whites to have lived with a parent who was incarcerated or who died. On the other hand, white males are more likely than black males to have lived with an adult with a substance abuse problem, and white males are more likely than Hispanics to have lived with a mentally ill, suicidal, or severely depressed adult (10 versus 6 percent).