Schizophrenia And Collectivist Cultures

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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) characterizes Schizophrenia as a psychological disorder that is diagnosed using specific criteria that includes five different symptoms (McLean et al., 2014). The criterion requires the diagnosis to include at least two of the following symptoms for at least six months duration: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly catatonic behavior, and negative symptoms (McLean et al., 2014). Diagnosing schizophrenia requires clinicians to follow these rigid guidelines that are meant to be universal (Bauer et al., 2011). However, due to the strict nature of these guidelines, psychologists have questioned how variations in culture might influence the manifestation of …show more content…

Collectivist cultures place an emphasis on the needs and desires of the family as whole, and place less emphasis on the needs and desires of individuals within the family unit (Mio, Barker, Tumambing, 2009). The interconnectedness of individuals, to their families in collectivist cultures, causes great concern for the consequences that one’s actions and decisions can have on one another (Banerjee, 2012) In contrast, those in individualistic cultures place an emphasis on their own needs and desires and are encouraged to seek outcomes that benefit their own needs and desires, and are less concerned with what is best for their family unit (Bauer et al., 2011). As a result of the stark differences between cultures, researchers have conducted studies to find out if there are differences in the manifestation of symptoms in patients with schizophrenia across …show more content…

Researchers have found that race is a major predictor in the diagnosis of schizophrenia (Barnes, 2008). For example, one study was conducted to analyze the rates in which African Americans were diagnosed with schizophrenia as compared to Caucasians in the United States (Barnes, 2008). There were a total of 2,404 participants (1,935 Caucasian and 469 African American) of various ages and demographics (Barnes, 2008). Schizophrenia was diagnosed in over half of the participants (Barnes, 2008). However, the rate of diagnosis showed significantly higher in African Americans than their Caucasian counterparts (Barnes, 2008). Barnes asserted that African Americans are as much as four times more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia than Caucasians even after gender, age, education, and prior hospitalization, factors had been controlled (Barnes, 2008). According to Barnes, the different rates among Caucasians and African Americans diagnosed with schizophrenia could be the result of different manifestation of symptoms between races and also the lack of knowledge when it comes to cultural differences (Barnes,

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