Sociology of African American Families in Nursing Practice


African American families represent a large percent of the US society, and nurses working with the members of these families should follow the unique approach to care and treatment because of the necessity to address the African Americans’ health and social needs appropriately. A variety of factors influence the development of social groups, and the factor of race plays one of the most important roles in affecting the person’s health and well-being.

From this point, the focus on the sociological discussion of the African American families’ features, demographics, and social problems is necessary to provide nurses with additional knowledge related to the field. It is important to study the sociological questions and quantitative and qualitative data related to the issue to improve the nurses’ performance. The study of Sociology of African American Families is necessary to contribute to increasing the student nurse’s competence and awareness of the issue.

Reasons for Taking the Class

The US population is extremely diverse, and a nurse should pay much attention to studying all the groups of American society to provide high-quality care. The African Americans present more than 13% of the whole population in the United States, and this racial group should be studied in detail to provide nurses with opportunities to address the African Americans’ needs and respond to the principles of diversity and equality in the American society (Hattery & Smith, 2007, p. 20).

From this point, the main reason for the nursing students to take class in Sociology and focus on the African American families is the necessity to improve the knowledge regarding the area, increase awareness of the African Americans’ health and social problems, and discuss these problems in the context of such concepts as social stratification, race, and gender to receive the opportunity to provide the high-quality appropriate care to all clients.

Racial and ethnic backgrounds play the important role in forming the persons’ ways of life and their everyday behaviors and moods. In order to understand the origins of the main health problems, it is important to concentrate on the social background. The life of the African American families differs significantly from the life of the other ethnic groups living in the United States because of the impact of the racial and cultural backgrounds (Hattery & Smith, 2007, p. 22). As a result, while focusing on the sociology of the African American families, it is possible to understand the conditions and causes which lead to the African Americans’ health problems.

The quality of the care depends on the nurse’s knowledge of the patient’s background. That is why, a nurse needs to take the class in Sociology to improve the knowledge regarding the role of class, gender, and race in the African American families and society, understand the demographics features, focus on differences in rates of chronic illnesses and HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, this course provides important information on the family composition, details associated with marriage and childbearing, welfare, and family violence rates (Hattery & Smith, 2007, p. 14-17).

From this perspective, while taking the discussed course, a nurse receives the opportunity to examine and analyze the patients’ health problems from the large perspective and discuss the racial and family background as the important factor to affect the health state.


Hattery, A., & Smith, E. (2007). African American families. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.