Comparison & Contrast
Department of Undergraduate Psychology
CSPP at Alliant International University
This paper will provide an overview on similar and differences in physical and mental health in different ethnic groups and cultures. The importance of understanding how ethnic groups and culture view mental and physical health can be crucial in therapeutic settings and can be seen as wrong or unusual to us because the lack of understand of their viewpoints. People come from different ethnic groups and the range of diversity varies and varies over time and between different populations, the knowledge of knowing the differences of physical and mental health can help to improve the healthcare of each population. Despite many of misunderstandings, ignorance and prejudice in this topic, there can be a change in the system and how we treat individual with our customs and what we think is normal, many individuals will never see physical and mental illness the same, being mindful if that can help everyone in our communities. This paper will highlight important themes concerning the mental health of these populations, both similarities and differences and lastly I will end this with a summary of my own experience and possible ideas for further future research. Similarities
Asians/Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Hispanic Americans are a large ethnic group in the United States. The extended family has a very significant role and the oldest male is most likely to be the decision maker of the family (Oben, 2013). This is a sign of respect and honor for the family for authority but when it comes to physical and mental health many doctors in the health care professional will recommend certain medication and cure for the patient. This decision ultimate refers back to the oldest male who will then decide, because of certain behaviors, this will reflect greatly on the family. Many groups such as the Latino Americans, Asians, Arab/Middle Eastern and African Americans report their physical and mental health in the aspect of their religious belief (Oben, 2013). Among each ethnic group, many believe that such mental illness is due to spiritual beliefs, for example, phenomena’s, demons or any sort of evil being that will portray that individual (Oben, 2013). As we can see, many European Americans will find this view wrong which leads to potential harm to their patient (Brammer, 2012). In the Native Americans, they greatly value on family and spiritual beliefs, they strongly believe that a state of health exists when a person is living in harmony with nature, fairly similar to the previous theme I wrote for the other ethnic groups. Illness in the Native American culture is viewed not as an alteration in a person’s physiological state but as I previously stated, an imbalance between the individual who is ill caused by natural or supernatural forces (Brammer, 2012). The important theme here is to consider that each ethnic group follows these specific forces on their beliefs that cause these imbalances. As we can see each ethnic group bring out their own unique perspective and values to their health care system and many of these health care beliefs and their practices are very different from our traditional American health care. What greatly impacts each ethnic group is the fact of health care professionals having expectation that their patient will somehow drop their beliefs and adopt the American perspective. It is because of these expectations that allow barriers to be created which can lead to nowhere and this is surely something as a future health care professional we must adopts and change (Brammer, 2012). In regards to men and women, the amount of reports gone out to health care providers have been women, and what does this say to us? Many women experience a tremendous amount of pain, sadness, stress, anxiety, depression because of “again referring back to my...
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