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Sociocultural Factors

Sociocultural factors when gathering information for assessing and diagnosing abnormality include the individual's culture, their environment, and their belief system. These aspects of diagnosis are important to consider because cultures differ in what is considered abnormal, and the social environment greatly impacts the individual and their behaviour.

In terms of culture, different concepts concerning normality and abnormality exist. For example, in a certain culture, the idea of being able to communicate with spirits may be considered normal. If an individual moves to a country where communicating with spirits is considered abnormal and their cultural background is not taken into consideration, they may be given an improper diagnosis. Therefore, the level of connection an individual has to their culture and the level at which they have adapted to the mainstream culture is important.

Sociocultural factors involving the amount of social support available in the individual's life is also essential for assessing and diagnosing abnormality. This is because social support is helpful to the individual in order to provide them with strength, guidance, and love, as well as to help them cope through their problems. On the other hand, if someone has a social group but they are a bad influence or maintain the individual's problem and create conflict, or if the person has no social group and feels lonely and hopeless, then that would also influence the diagnosis process.

As discussed, culture and social environment considerations need to be made when assessing and diagnosing abnormality. This is because it will help the clinician better understand the individual, as well as understand differences in how the client may present his/her symptoms and the treatments that would best suit their circumstances.

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