Name: Sylvia Butcher Student I.D: AC1503113 School: Ashworth College Date: June 12th, 2017 Assignment # 08 – Multicultural Psychology Culture has the potential of affecting the course and prognosis of mental disorder in several ways. The personal distress felt by a patient is largely mediated by the cultural context. For example, cultural beliefs determine how distress is experienced. In one cultural context a psychotic patient may believe he is possessed by harmful spirits, whereas in a different cultural situation the patient simply accepts the cause of distress as an outcome of brain dysfunctions or issues of stress. The cultural specific position argues that psychopathology is not manifested the same way in different cultures. From this point of view the norms of each society determine how behaviour is moderated and the views about mental illness developed in one society are not applicable to other cultural groups. Culture determines what behavior is defined as abnormal since as we noted unusual behavior in one society may be common in another. The cultural specific perspective argues that using the common medical model developed in Western sciences is ethnocentric and forces the psychological reality of cultural majorities on minorities. To decide on the relative importance of the cultural specific or universal etiology of mental disorder require cross culturally valid and reliable ways of measuring and diagnosing mental illness as otherwise comparative studies would have no merit.
Culturally specific researchers and clinicians would maintain that culture and abnormal behavior
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