Explore BrainMass

Psychological Disorders from a Cultural Perspective

Are psychological disorders universal or culturally specific? I feel they are both with more weight being universal and perhaps the cultural standpoint having a triggering effect to the disorder. It seems confusing and quite complex. Would more well-know disorders like schizophrenia, depression, and ADHD, be considered universal? I would appreciate some direction on this subject.

Thank you In advance.

Solution Preview

Here you go. I hope the following information is useful.

In asking this question we are in essence asking whether pathologies and disorders are relative (culturally influenced) or universal (the same across cultures.) In cross-cultural psychopathology, the relativist perspective is sensitive to and pays attention to unique cultural factors and context of psychological disorders. For example, statistically the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia nervosa occur with greater frequency in females from industrialized (western cultures). This does not mean that its occurrence, frequency and progression in other cultures in nonexistent, but that there must be some factors to take into account in cultures like the US and things we might be able to learn from cultures with much lower rates.

The universalists among us have a decidedly more simpler view in that they propose that there are absolute, invariable and identifiable symptoms of psychological disorders across cultural lines. Essential schizophrenia is schizophrenia regardless of the culture the diagnosis is made. One would have to note that the DSM IV-TR relies primarily on the universality of ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines psychological disorders from a cultural perspectives.