Not only is context important in determining whether an individual’s behavior meets the criteria for a mental disorder, but culture and family background can also be important factors. Some behaviors would clearly be “abnormal” in any culture or family, while other behaviors are not so clearly defined.

Using your textbook and the Argosy University online library resources, research the role of cultural norms in identifying mental disorders. Based on your research, respond to the following:

  • Why is culture an important consideration in the interview, assessment, and diagnostic process?
  • How might your own cultural, ethnic, or family values, rules, or traditions be misinterpreted as “abnormal” by someone from a dissimilar background? Give examples in your answer.

Write your initial response in 2–3 paragraphs. If you refer to research information, cite sources applying APA standards.

By Saturday, June 11, 2016, post your response to the appropriate Discussion Area. Through Wednesday, June 15, 2016, review and comment on at least two peers’ responses.



Please keep in my the role of culture when considering the best treatment approach for mental illness. For example, I was raised in a working class family in which an unwritten rule was to avoid discussing concerns of the family with individuals outside of the family unit. It would be necessary to be aware of such a working-class tendency if providing family therapy in a clinical environment.

In Module 1, we will focus on the issue of cultural competence. An important consideration in determining abnormality is culture. The belief that you see your dead relatives around you might be considered a delusion or visual hallucination, but may be a completely “normal” belief among certain religious or cultural groups. We must not jump to conclusions without carefully considering all variables that may be important in assessing whether a given behavior is abnormal.

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