International Journal of Culture and Mental Health

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


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  • Other titles
    International journal of culture and mental health
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    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

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Taylor & Francis

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    • STM: Science, Technology and Medicine
    • SSH: Social Science and Humanities
    • 'Taylor & Francis (Psychology Press)' is an imprint of 'Taylor & Francis'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2014;
  • International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 12/2013;
  • International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 12/2013;
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The lack of host language proficiency is an important source of acculturative stress among new immigrants and is known to negatively impact on both physical and mental health. However, the acculturative stress and stressors of migrants from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds with functional English language skills in Australia are less well-explored. Using the Filipino migrants as examplar, this paper reviews acculturative stress in three sub-population groups in this community: family migrants, Filipino spouses of Australian men and skilled, professional migrants. Despite English language ability, socioeconomic difficulties upon migration are a common source of acculturative stress. Intergenerational and cultural gaps within the family are conflict points that may cause depression and suicidal ideation. Changes in lifestyle and diet, incongruence of Western health practices with cultural beliefs may unfavourably affect health. Skilled and professional migrants experience stress due to underemployment, non-utilisation or non-recognition of qualifications obtained overseas. The health issues of CALD communities with functional English language skills are often overlooked in comparison with migrants lacking host population language skills. Taking sociocultural issues into consideration is pivotal when designing health promotion initiatives to meet the needs of Australian migrants with functional English language skills.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 07/2013;
  • International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2013; 6(3):208-2214.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract This article examines how the Chinese perceive and explain minor mental health problems (MMP). It focuses on the perception of doctors and students who practise traditional Chinese medicine, as well as on lay people, and pays special attention to how the understanding of MMP is related to traditional Chinese culture. A fieldwork design with interviews and observations was performed. Minor mental health problems are looked upon as part of normal life and seen as quite different from (severe) psychiatric disorders. MMP are a sign of not being integrated and are characterised by a lack of harmonious relationships with family and friends. The underlying Chinese philosophies and theories of mental problems and treatments are presented and discussed.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2013; 6(3):193-207.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined the level of agreement among the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D), Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and Observers' Rating on assessing depression of African American adults with cancer. 75 breast and prostate cancer patients (57 African Americans and 18Whites) were interviewed and administered the depression measures. Nonparametric tests were performed to examine the level of measurement agreement by group and the symptom items of CES-D, HAM-D and BDI-II to which African American patients responded differently across measures. The four measures showed agreement on approximately 75% of the cases in both racial groups. However, the difference between measures in identifying depressive cases is marked. The item analysis indicated that most measurement disagreements about African American patients occurred on two items: self-report of depression and sleeping disturbance. Measurement discord may be explained by African American's reporting behavior that varies from a self-reported measure to an interviewer-administrated measure of depression. African American patients showed a reluctance to use the word "depression" and a tendency to report sleep disturbance. The findings suggest that accurately assessing depression in these patients requires a consideration of their culturally shaped life experiences.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2013; 6(1):58-71.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study explores perceptions of mental illness in a sample of Ethiopian community members, healthcare workers and traditional healers. Specifically, the attitudes, beliefs and practices associated with the symptoms, causes and treatment of mental illness were investigated. A total of 115 participants were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire to explore their perceptions of depression, anxiety and psychosis. Qualitative analysis of the interview responses indicated a range of beliefs about the recognition and etiology of mental illness. Nine themes were identified in response to the questions how do you identify and what causes mental illness: Psychocultural appropriateness, Religious/spiritual, Social difficulty, Behavioral disturbance, Cognitive-emotional impairment, Disaster and economic deprivation, Adaptive functioning, Substance abuse and Physical/medical. The most frequent response for how to identify depression and anxiety was negative emotions, while the most frequent answer for recognizing psychosis was bizarre or unusual behavior. Both modern and traditional treatments were cited as helpful, depending on the disorder. Implications for clinical assessment and policy planning are discussed. Keywords: Africa; Ethiopia; mental illness; perceptions
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2013;
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Microfinance programs in Ethiopia have existed since the late-1970s, but the relationship between microfinance and women's health has not been extensively investigated. This paper reports on a study evaluating the characteristics of a sample of women participating in microfinance operations with health outcomes, as measured by a health check up in the past year and knowledge about family planning methods. A total of 100 women were selected for the study at a microfinance office in Jimma, Ethiopia, to answer a 48-question survey designed to investigate the characteristics of participation in microfinance in relation to: (1) healthy habits, as assessed by medical check-ups and knowledge of family planning methods, (2) education, (3) demographics, (4) decision-making abilities within their household, (5) access to borrowing money from another individual or institution and (6) domestic violence. The study showed that women participating in microfinance operations were likely to have had a medical check up in the past year and that they were likely to acknowledge awareness of family planning methods. Additionally, we found that the women's education level is associated with knowledge of family planning. These results together suggest that the women participating in microfinance operations in Jimma, Ethiopia engage in healthy behavior practices.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 11/2012;
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over 1.5 million Muslims live in the UK, many in poor socioeconomic circumstances and facing social exclusion and discrimination, yet there is a paucity of research on Muslim mental health, in particular on adolescents. This study investigates whether psychological distress is greater in Muslim adolescents in comparison with their non-Muslim counterparts and whether distress is associated with level of ‘Westernisation’, sense of ‘Britishness’ and perceived discrimination. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 14–16-year-olds in two large comprehensive schools. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Short Moods and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ) were used to measure levels of psychological distress. Contrary to expectations, Muslim students had lower levels of psychological distress than all other religious groups at a statistically significant level (p=0.015). Family structure and academic achievement were found to be significant (p=0.009 and p=0.004, respectively) with the lowest levels of psychological distress being in Muslim students who lived with both biological parents and were doing more than nine GCSEs. Muslim students who were more Westernised, identified themselves as British and perceived less discrimination reported lower levels of psychological distress. Belonging to a particular religious group may have protective effects on mental health possibly due to aspects of the religious community, such as social cohesion, family structure and support, or to aspects of the religion itself. However, these results need to be interpreted with caution as this is a limited exploratory study and further research is required.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 11/2012; 5(3):202-218.
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Alcohol consumption has been found to vary in prevalence, patterns of use and consequences across socio-demographic variables such as age, gender, socio-economic status and ethnicity. Studies have reported discrepant findings with regard to the phenomenology of alcohol dependence among women across societies. It is proposed that the social structure based on lineal organization may be a contributory factor. Utilizing the case reports of three women with alcohol dependence from the lower socio-economic strata, this paper attempts to conceptualize problem drinking within the social milieu of patriarchy. Adapting from the stress-process model, the proposed framework considers the patriarchal organization to have contributed to both sociological and personal vulnerabilities among these women. It is proposed that the respective patriarchs and prevalent social stresses, norms and expectations mediated both the initiation and continued consumption of alcohol. This implicates a pertinent need to expand interventions from merely focusing on the alcohol dependent individual to including even societal components.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2012; 5:137-144.
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    ABSTRACT: Indian cinema, affectionately known as Bollywood, is hugely influential in shaping social attitudes in Indian subcontinent and many other parts of the world. However, the extent to which Bollywood movies have played a responsible role in reinforcing societal attitudes towards mental illness and treatment modalities such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is unknown. The objective of this study was to identify how ECT is portrayed in Bollywood movies and how these movies are perceived by the public and film critics. Also to understand socio-cultural influences on how movies are made and to find if there are cross-cultural influences of Hollywood movies on Indian movies by comparing movies that depict ECT. After identifying Bollywood and Hollywood movies with mental health themes, we qualitatively reviewed movie plots for the portrayal of ECT. Main outcome measures identified were: type of attitude towards the ECT (sympathetic, comical, hostile, condescending etc.), accuracy of the portrayal of ECT and attribution of justification of ECT (e.g. punishment, social control, beneficial medical). The key findings of the study were that attitudes towards mental illness and ECT in Indian cinema paralleled broader political and socio-economic trends in Indian society. Like Hollywood, portrayal of ECT in Indian movies is often fictional, exaggerated and scientifically inaccurate. We conclude that outdated and inaccurate depictions of ECT in movies are still a source of misinformation about ECT for the general public as well as among medical professionals. Therefore, collaboration between mental health sector, film and television industries and film censorship boards is essential in exploring the potential for educating and informing clinical realities about mental illnesses and ECT.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2012;
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Feelings of intense anxiety associated with social situations are a universal phenomenon. However, the expression of a social anxiety reaction and the situation in which it is elicited may differ across cultures. The main aims of the present study were to compare the frequency of social anxiety symptoms among young adults in Hong Kong and in the UK and to examine the association between social anxiety, self-construals and perceived social norms. A total of 886 young adults (451 in the UK and 435 in Hong Kong) between the ages of 18 and 26 years were investigated. They completed a set of questionnaires, which were used to measure social anxiety, self-construals and perceived social norms. Young adults in Hong Kong reported significantly higher levels of social anxiety symptoms than young adults in the UK. Participants in Hong Kong scored significantly higher than those in the UK in interdependent self-construal, whereas the Hong Kong group scored lower in independent self-construal. In both countries, independent self-construal was significantly negatively correlated with social anxiety. Cultural norms were associated with social anxiety only in the Hong Kong sample. These findings highlight the importance of cultural factors on individuals' experiences of social anxiety.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2012; 5(2):109-120.
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    ABSTRACT: The last two decades have seen a rapid increase of Fuzhounese immigrants (from Fujian Province, China) to the USA. This group spurred the interest of researchers because of their new immigrant status and their demographic and sociocultural background that places them at a significant disadvantage compared with the majority of already established Chinese immigrants. This paper synthesizes existing research on the Fuzhounese's historical/cultural and migration experiences and examines ways in which sociocultural forces interact with postmigration stressors to impact the onset, manifestation, diagnosis, and treatment of symptoms in this group. From prior ethnographic work, we suggest that the pursuit of four core social goals plays a key role in interfering with psychiatric treatment adherence: (1) To payoff their smuggling debt (often >$80,000); (2) To send money to their natal families to improve social standing; (3) To save money for a dowry to perpetuate the familial lineage by marrying and producing offspring; and (4) To attain legal status. To offer more insight on how these core social motivations impact psychiatric disability, we present a case vignette of a Fuzhounese man diagnosed with schizophrenia. We relate his treatment issues to specific fundamental values that infuse both the lived experience of mental illness and inform clinical and community treatment strategies for this group. We also extend relevant treatment recommendations to migratory workers from other ethnic groups.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2012;
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this research are to present certain adaptive strategies used by the members of a society when exposed to conflict and interaction with a different culture for decades or centuries and to demonstrate that the use of these strategies minimizes or prevents sociocultural disintegration and the resulting demoralization. The setting of the study is the Christianization and ‘westernization’ that took place from 1510 till around 1773 in three districts of Goa, a former Portuguese state on the western coast of India. Information on the history of Portuguese India was studied in the archives and libraries in Goa, the United States, Portugal and other European countries. Five adaptive strategies were used by Hindus who converted to Christianity, by Hindus who refused to convert and by Europeans, including Catholic missionaries, who were in charge of the conversions. They are called transformational mapping, privatization, individuation, cohesiveness and pragmatism. Examples of each strategy are given. By themselves or combined with each other, these adaptive strategies allowed the Goans to continue to function as a community, thereby preventing or minimizing sociocultural disintegration and the resulting demoralization. In the process, a vibrant hybrid culture was created and became a mark of distinction of Portuguese Goa.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2012;
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper reports the findings of a qualitative research conducted in a Canadian medium-security forensic psychiatric institution. The purpose of the study was to explore the way patient subjectivities are shaped in the admissions unit of the selected facility, using nursing progress notes as a primary source of data. More detailed findings from this study were published elsewhere. In this paper, I wish to focus specifically on the way a patient's course through the admissions unit begins a particular subjectivity-forming process described by Goffman as moral career. This paper discusses evidence, in nursing progress notes, of the onset of the patient's moral career. It also explores the way disciplinary power, devised by Foucault, is useful in understanding the establishment and the unfolding of the forensic subject's moral career.
    International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 01/2012; 5(1):15-29.

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