Take for example a classic study that was done on the

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Unformatted text preview: general feelings of tension, anxiety, and fatigue and the sleep disturbances found in this disorder (Andrews & Wilding, 2004). Take, for example, a classic study that was done on the psychological impact of living near the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant after the nuclear reactor accident of March 1979 (Baum et al., 2004; Wroble & Baum, 2002). In the months following the accident, local mothers of preschool children were found to display five times as many anxiety or depression disorders as mothers living elsewhere. Although the number of disorders decreased during the next year, the Three Mile Island mothers still displayed high levels of anxiety or depression a year later. Similarly, a study conducted more recently found that in the months and years following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the rate of generalized and other anxiety disorders was twice as high among area residents who lived through the disaster as among unaffected persons living elsewhere (Galea et al., 2007). One of the most powerful forms of societal stress is poverty. People without financial means are likely to live in run-down communities with high crime rates, have fewer educational and job opportunities, and run a greater risk for health problems (López & Guarnaccia, 2008, 2005, 2000). As sociocultural theorists would predict, such people also have a higher rate of generalized anxiety disorder. In the United States, the rate is twice as high among people with low incomes as among those with higher incomes (Kessler et al., 2005; Blazer et al., 1991). As wages decrease, the rate of generalized anxiety disorder steadily increases (see Table 4-2). Since race is closely tied to income and job opportunity in the United States, it is not surprising that it is sometimes also tied to the prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder (Blazer et al., 1991). In any given year approximately 6 percent of all African Americans suffer from this disorder, compared to 3.1 percent of white Americans. African American women, perhaps the country’s most socially stressed group, have the highest rate of all—6.6 percent. Multicultural researchers have not found a heightened rate of generalized anxiety disorder among Hispanics in the United States. They have, however, noted that many Hispanics in both the United States and Latin American suffer from nervios (“nerves”), a Miami Herald, Photo by Chuck Fadely The Sociocultural Perspective: Societal and Multicultural Factors The role of society Upon learning that her son was a victim of a drive-by shooting, a woman collapses in the arms of relatives at the scene. People who live in dangerous environments experience greater anxiety and have a higher rate of generalized anxiety disorder than those residing in other settings. table: 4 -2 Eye on Culture: Anxiety Disorders Prevalence of Anxiety Disorders (Compared to Rate in Total Population) Female Low Income African American Hispanic American Elderly Generalized anxiety disorder Higher Higher Higher Same Higher Specific phobias Higher Higher Higher Higher Low...
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This note was uploaded on 01/07/2013 for the course PSY 270 taught by Professor Hall during the Spring '05 term at University of Phoenix.

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