Cultural Diversity Resource Center

Last updated February 2016


Culture and Diversity for Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists Resource Center Image The United States and its ever-changing cultural landscape shape the way we experience diversity. Cultural values and beliefs not only affect our daily activities and functions, but also influence the way we perceive physical and emotional distress and interventions to deal with them. Mental illness is perceived differently by various cultures, as is the ability to express certain symptoms. Some cultures have stigmatized mental illness, making it difficult for families and individuals to seek resources and interventions commonly used in western societies. Due to this, some cultures rely on alternative interventions in treating common mental health disorders. Emotional distress and mental health problems occur in all socio-cultural backgrounds. This information is intended to raise awareness of diversity issues and to assist a clinician with integrating them into their practice.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is diversity and culture?
  2. Why is diversity and culture important?
  3. How do a family's culture and values affect their child's mental health?
  4. How does a mental health professionals' culture and value system affect a child's treatment?

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Video Clips
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Mental Health: A Guide for African American and their Families

Mental Health: A Guide for Latinos and their Families

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Clinical Guidelines

Practice Parameters: AACAP's Practice Parameters were developed by a group of experts on the topic to guide clinical decision making.

AACAP's Practice Parameter for Cultural competence in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Practice

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Additional Professional Resources
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I. Research

Acculturation, development, and adaptation

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am.
October 2010 – Volume 19 – issue 4 – pp 681-696

Culture and development in children and youth

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am.
October 2010 – Volume 19 – issue 4 – pp 661-680

'Our community is the worst': the influence of cultural beliefs on stigma, relationships with family and help-seeking in three ethnic communities in London.

Int J Soc Psychiatry
Sept. 2013 – Volume 59 – issue 6 – pp 535-544

The Muslim child, adolescent, and family

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am.
January 2004 – Volume 13 – issue 1 – pp 183-200

Language, culture, and adaptation in immigrant children

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am.
January 2010 – Volume 19 – issue 4 – pp 697-717

II. Training

Culturally informed child psychiatry practice

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am.
October 2010 – Volume 19 – issue 4 – pp 759-774

Training child and adolescent psychiatrists to be culturally competent

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am.
October 2010 – Volume 19 – issue 4 – pp 815-831

III. Curriculum

Diversity and Culture competency Curriculum for child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training (AACAP)

A Four-Year Model Curriculum on Culture, gender, LGBT, Religion, and Spirituality for General Psychiatry (Residency Training Programs in the United States)

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Books, Media, & Related Material

AACAP's Your Child and Your Adolescent offer comprehensive information about child and adolescent development.

"Mental Health - Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives" in Specific Population Groups (APA)

African American Community/Asian American and Pacific Islanders/American Indians and Alaska Natives/ Hispanic/Latino community/Sexual Orientation

Movies reflecting diversity and culture

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Related Websites
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Other Related Topics

* Disparities in Mental Health Care

"10 Things you can do to eliminate ethnic and racial disparities in Mental Health"

National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health

** Immigration and Refugees

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