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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1991 Dec;59(6):799-812.

Cultural diversity and treatment of children.

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  • 1Merrill College, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064.


The increasing cultural diversity of child clients has produced a cascade of new issues and concerns for psychological practice, theory, and research. Available evidence and pertinent theory are reviewed on such topics as the predictive utility and treatment consequences of ethnic membership, whether treatments should be generic or specific to cultural groups, the degree of privilege that should be accorded to same-culture therapists, and the relative desirability of different modalities of treatment for children of different cultural groups. The concept of cultural compatibility of treatment is explored and evaluated. A broad agenda of hypotheses for research and development is suggested, and some guidelines for clinical practice and policy are proposed. It is concluded that insofar as possible, treatment for all children should be contextualized in their family's and community's structure of meanings, relationships, and language.

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