Cultural Strengths as Moderators of the Relationship Between Acculturation

Bettendorf, S. K. , &ump; Fischer, A. R. (2009). Cultural strengths as moderators of the relationship between acculturation to the mainstream U. S. Society and eating and body-related concerns among Mexican American women. Journal Of Counseling Psychology, 56(3), 430-440. doi:10. 1037/a0016382 Discusses how ethic identity, familism, and enculturation serve as protection from issues of acculturation to mainstream U. S. society, specifically eating and body related concerns faced by Mexican American women.

Results reveal that adherence to family values may serve as protection to the adverse effects of living in a society that promotes thinness as beauty. Findings highlight the importance of culture awareness in the prevention and treatment of disordered eating and suggest that it may be beneficial to work with the family, promoting interdependence and cohesion. In addition the authors point out that it may be empowering for the client to understand her eating and body concerns in the context of the her socio-political environment.

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An important component of the therapeutic process is to help these women develop a critical view that will translate into a sense of empowerment. Results are limited by the fact that questionnaires used were developed mainly with European American samples and administered online. Cummins LH,Simmons AM,Zane NW. Eating disorders in Asian populations: A critique of current approaches to the study of culture, ethnicity, and eating disorders. Am J Orthopsychiatry 2005; 75: 553–574. Cummins et al. 2005) discuss the role of sociocultural factors in the etiology of eating disorders and argue for a need of increased awareness regarding different types of eating disorder symptoms other that Western symptom patterns. Drawing from a review of the research literature from 1973 to 2003, the authors describe links between culture, ethnicity and eating disorders in Asian populations and critically discuss the methods employed in the study of different ethnic groups. Areas for future research on the relationship between culturally based variables and eating disorders are identified.

I believe that the strength of this article is that the literature reviewed describes research conducted in countries of historical, cultural and religious diversity as well as different levels of exposure to Western values such as India, Pakistan, Japan and Hong Kong and Singapore. Additionally, the literature reviewed also covers groups of Asian ethnic origins residing in Westernized countries. Halliwell, E. , &ump; Harvey, M. (2006). Examination of a sociocultural model of disordered eating among male and female adolescents. British Journal of Health Psychology, 11(1359107), 235-48.

The authors use an adaptation of Stice’s (1994) socio-cultural model of disordered eating that includes social comparisons, self-reports of body mass index and perceived weight status and examine how these components affect this model. Data obtained from a sample of 250 girls and 275 boys, ages between 11-16, revealed that pressure to lose weight is linked to eating behavior, social comparison, internalization and body dissatisfaction. Social comparisons were strongly connected to body dissatisfaction for adolescents who considered them to be overweight.

There were considerable gender discrepancies, with girls being more affected by body dissatisfaction and pressure to lose weight. Although issues of appearance and attractiveness continue to be more central to the self-concept of females that that of males, the study reveals that models of eating behavior designed for girls can also be applied to explain problematic eating behavior of adolescent boys. Results indicate that the social comparison aspect is a worthwhile target for intervention, prevention and treatment initiatives. Kempa, M. L. , &ump; Thomas, A. (2000). Culturally Sensitive Assessment and Treatment of Eating Disorders.

Eating Disorders, 8(1), 17. This article examines the assessment, diagnoses and treatment of eating disorders in individuals from culturally distinct backgrounds. There is a thorough discussion of issues concerning the connections between ethnic identities, immigration and eating pathology. The authors offer a comprehensive overview of culturally bound symptoms, views and values of Caucasian, African, Native and Asian Americans and highlight the importance of incorporating and capitalizing on cultural values such as of the different groups when treating eating disorders (i. . African American’s strong spirituality, Native Americans emphasis on the importance of living with harmony with nature). It is pointed out that although the connection between eating disorders and the insidious Western unattainable and even racist (imagery promoting European features) beauty ideals is acknowledge, changes are not advocates strongly enough. This article will be very useful in the creation of my teaching package and is limited only by its’ exclusive focus on the USA. Mann, T. , &ump; Tomiyama, A. J. (2008, November-December).

Cultural factors in collegiate eating disorder pathology: when family culture clashes with individual culture. Journal of American College Health, 57(3), 309. This article examines the effects of family enmeshment on the development of eating pathology between two groups of female college students. Participants are given a questionnaire to determine their cultural value orientations, level of enmeshment and eating pathology. Results reveal that extreme family proximity is connected to eating disturbances in non-Asian American, culturally independent participants but not in Asian- American, culturally interdependent participants.

This study highlights the importance of taking cultural frameworks into account when investigating mental health issues among college students. However, the authors fail to take into account that participants from a culturally interdependent background may refrain from revealing information about eating disorders and may also be more susceptible to a need to be socially desirable. For these reasons, the validity of results may be compromised.

Mary E. Shuttlesworth and Deanne Zotter Disordered Eating in African American and Caucasian Women: The Role of Ethnic IdentityJournal of Black Studies September 2011 42: 906-922, first published on March 17, 2011 doi:10. 1177/0021934710396368 The impact of culture and ethnic identity in the development of maladaptive eating patterns are examined. A comparison is made between African American women and Caucasian women on disordered eating measures and results indicate that low levels of ethnic identity put African American women at risk by increasing the likelihood of binge eating behavior and bulimic pathology.

Conversely, for Caucasian women, high levels of ethnic identity seem to translate into higher levels of binge eating as well as generally maladaptive eating patterns. Implications for prevention and treatment are discussed. I choose this article because it has been publish this year. Furthermore, it touches the main point of my teaching package, which is about the impact Western ideals and drive for thinness has on the rest of world. However the usefulness of this study for my research is limited by the sample’s ethnic background and focus on the USA.

Simpson, K. (2002). Anorexia nervosa and culture. Journal Of Psychiatric &ump; Mental Health Nursing, 9(1), 65-71. This article describes how unrealistic standards of attractiveness set by Western society are internalized by women from a variety of cultural backgrounds and translated into fat-phobia and body dissatisfaction and then discusses alternative cultural influences for food refusal such as issues of control, acculturation, and religious asceticism.

The author claims that there is a need for culturally sensitive questionnaires and diagnostic criteria and suggests that the notion of anorexia as a culture bound syndrome is no longer valid as the illness as been identified in a number of non-western societies. A valid point is made about the importance to acknowledge that anorexia nervosa may exist without a fear of fatness and that there may be other cultural reasons for self-starvation. However, no concrete solution is suggested as how assessment can be conducted with non-white, non-western populations in order to avoid being confined by Western diagnosis criteria.

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Cultural Strengths as Moderators of the Relationship Between Acculturation. (2016, Dec 25). Retrieved from