Cultural Inluences on Mental Illness Research Paper by macsdad

Cultural Inluences on Mental Illness
An examination of how culture influences people's perception of mental illness, it's causes, whether it exists or not and how it is treated.
# 151625 | 1,996 words | 14 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Aug 04, 2012 in Anthropology (General) , Medical and Health (General) , Psychology (General)

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This paper examines how the cultures of racial and ethnic minorities influence many aspects of mental illness, including how patients from a given culture interpret and describe their symptoms, how they cope and their willingness to seek treatment. It also looks at how in the same way, the culture of the clinician and the service system influence diagnosis, treatment, and service delivery. Cultural and social influences are not the only influence on mental illness and help-seeking, but they do play important roles. The paper mostly focuses on western versus eastern culture but also touches on Native American and even Military cultures.

Culture and Mental Illness
Cultural Norms and Values - Individualism and Collectivism
Idioms of Distress and Culture-Bound Syndromes

From the Paper:

"Cultural norms and attitudes can influence how an individual express their
emotions, how much distress they will tolerate, shared symptoms among others in their culture and how the individual interprets their symptoms. People will use different strategies to reduce their symptoms and both personal-coping and help-seeking behavior comes into play. Asian-Americans more often use help-seeking behaviors in response to symptoms than White Americans. Asians turn to friends and family rather than professionals first. White Americans are more likely to request help from a professional. The Two Cultural differences lie in the fact that Asian culture tends to be one of "collectivism" a term used to describe a society that relies heavily on co-dependence. Each individual is associated with a tight knit group of friends and family over a long period of time and that sooner or later each will need to depend on the group for something. The East Asian culture prefers to use indirect communications, the meaning of their communication is interpretive, and they emphasize sensitivity and really listening to each other. (Zerr, Pina, Alfonsa, 2011).

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Associated Press. (2012, February 21). Madigan chief removed during ptsd investigation. ArmyTimes, Retrieved from removed-during-ptsd-investigation-022112/
  • Banks, J.A., Banks, & McGee, C. A. (1989). Multicultural education. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon
  • Bettencourt, H., & Lopez, S. (1993). The study of culture, ethnicity, and race in. American Psychological Association, Inc, 48(6), 629-637.
  • Bhugra, D. (2006). Severe mental illness Across cultures. Acta Psychiatra Scand , 113(42), 17- 23.
  • Fan, DR., X. (2011). Understanding mental illness in the Chinese community. Retrieved from

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Cultural Inluences on Mental Illness (2012, August 04) Retrieved February 28, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Cultural Inluences on Mental Illness" 04 August 2012. Web. 28 February. 2024. <>