Schizophrenia across Cultures


Schizophreniaacross Cultures

Schizophreniain Latinos, African Americans, European Americans

Schizophreniahas many effects on the ability of a person to lead a meaningfullife. This disease is mental disorder, and it isfoundacross various cultures of the world such as Latinos, Euro-Americans,and African-Americans. Both genders are affected, and the age is afactor in the presentation of schizophrenia symptoms. The rates ofthe mental disorders remain the same irrespective of where theyoccur. Although schizophrenia manifestation varies across cultures,most of the studies have presented the symptom into positivesymptoms such as delusions and hallucinations, disorganized behaviorthat includes inappropriate effect and negative symptoms such asanhedonia, avolition, poverty of speech and pleasant diminisheddrive. The symptoms are not concrete since not all people willexhibit majority or all the symptoms. Consideration of mental healthand cultural disparities is important for understanding the treatmentand diagnosis of mental illness.One possible reason for the differences is that the administratorsand the practitioners in mental healthy make unwanted judgment onpeople regarding their ethnicity or race.


Themental disorders are common forcultures such as Latinos, Euro-Americans, and African-Americans.Nevertheless, cultural and health disparities in the rate of mentaldisorders have been reported over a period. Empirical research showsa pervasive and a definite pattern where African-American displays arate of on average 3 to 4 times higher than the Euro-American. TheLatinos, on the other hand, were diagnosed disproportionately withmental disorders on average about three times greater thanEuro-Americans(Calkins, Tepper, Ragland, Wiener, &amp Gur, 2014).Moreover, the trend in many studies suggests that the immigrantracial minority receiving schizophrenia services may be assigned apsychotic diagnosis more than the primary consumers who share themajority cultural background. This means that clinical bias andsociological causes such as diverse healthcare access and thewillingness to beinvolvedin mental health services can explain the above scenario. Futureresearch direction should include an exploration of disproportionaldiagnosis regarding culture through qualitative interviews (Schwartz&amp Blankenship, 2014)


Thesymptoms of schizophrenia for many people can be rather tragic andfrightening. The complex delusional belief system, confusingbehavioral changes and cold detachment from otherwise joyousfamily members may withdraw from the society and are not able to copewith persistent and chronic debilitating illness. The healthdisparities across individuals often strike the individuals ofdiverse cultures. Schizophrenia may manifest during adolescent, but asignificant number of people get the symptoms during their old ormiddle age. For instance, the African-Americans are diagnosed ashaving the mental disorder spectrum more frequently than theEuro-American and Latino arediagnosed.Also, the Latinos are diagnosed disproportionately as having majordepression. Despite the high level of psychotic symptoms on Latinos,the health and cultural disparities are imperative in diagnosing anindividual across various cultures (Cantor-Graae&amp Selten, 2014).

Theresearchers have found that the cases involving schizophrenia, themilder cognitive deficit may exist in various cultural backgrounds. From the studies, mental health disparities suggest that some earlypattern of development differences for children who did not havemental disorders in their adulthood. Children with disordersdemonstrate pre-morbid patterns such as attention deficit. Variationin symptoms is the cultural variance and apparent in schizophrenia.Collectivism in culture involves group value and concept concernsabout the decision on others and sharing material and nonmaterialgoods (Cantor-Graae&amp Selten, 2014).

CulturalImpact on Schizophrenia

Theculture plays an integral role in symptoms manifestation, treatmentand diagnosis of Schizophrenia. Many times, the variance in learningis conceived as asymptomatic variance. Nevertheless,the cultural beliefs affect the treatment, diagnosis and the caregiven by the psychiatrist and families. Since the culture is theenvironment where everyone values moral judgment, systems andperceptions of evidence and concrete facts and evidence formed, itaffects every individual in the medical fraternity. The effects arenot only limited to Schizophrenia they are boundto cultural makeup in treatment and diagnosis of the mentaldisorders. The variability of the culture of Schizophrenia samplesthe large-scale challenge that theSchizophrenia community face. The variability exists inpsychopathology since the cultural norms engrave themselves inmentally people as they do to those who are healthy (Van, Kenis &ampRutten, 2010).

Cross-culturalperspective is thus significant and crucial in the treatment ofSchizophrenia or any mental ailment. Psychiatrists and psychologistmust be aware of the cultural difference if they need to treat anddiagnose a patient of mental disorder whocome from diverse cultural backgrounds. Reaching unbiased scientificprocess is unrealistic. The scientific community perhaps shouldinvest their energy in learning the effects if culture and how it canbe mediated, controlled and adjusted totreat Schizophrenia patients (Van, Kenis &amp Rutten, 2010).

Theprocess should be inclusive of wide-ranging, comparativecross-cultural studies. Researching the cultures across countrieswill be important in considering the treatment of the patient ofone culture to another. The next bigcomplexity is developing procedures to eliminate cultural biases inthe clinics of the psychiatrist. This can beachieved through cultural consciousness training for mentalhealth professionals. As the culture influenceshe way only manifest and communicate thesymptoms of mental illness, their willingness to get treatment isaffected as well. The cultural stigmas may change the reluctance ofthe patient to discuss their mental disorders problems (Van, Kenis &ampRutten, 2010).


Thestudies presented in the paper may yield findings that need theattention of the medical health professions especially in thetreatment of the schizophrenia patients. While schizophrenia is amental disorder found in many countries, the DSM_IV guidelines fallshort of the cultural considerations. Schizophrenia ismanifested different across diverse cultures regarding thesocio-centricity of the culture. Also, the psychiatrists differ intheir treatment and diagnosis due to their perception and culture.Thus, the current mental auditing services and health board fallshort of sufficient research (Schwartz &ampBlankenship, 2014).

Thispaper deals with schizophrenia across Latinos, AfricanAmericans, European Americans, but if the variability in the abovecultures exists in psychopathology, it, therefore, exists in manymore. Most of the cultural studies need to beinvestigated in the full effect of cross culture diagnosis,variability symptoms, and treatment. The findings should beincorporated into following DSM. Cross-national mental healthshould be established in strengthening theintercultural dialogue and awareness among the healthcareprofessionals. The research is similar in that they converge to crossnational mental health and how the cultural disparities and mentalhealth is essential (Van, Kenis &amp Rutten, 2010).

Thesestudies are different in that Schizophrenia is a persistent andsevere mental illness across cultural and demographic lines.Thus, some of the studies discussed the onset of schizophrenia from atender age and thus failed to deal with the cultural background. Theinfluences of ethnic, class status, cultural identity should beconsidered. The coping styles, communication, willingness, a supportsystem to seek treatment are also affected.


Schwartz,R., &amp Blankenship, D. (2014, December 22). Racialdisparities in psychotic disorder diagnosis: A review of empiricalliterature.Retrieved from NCBI:

Cantor-Graae,E., &amp Selten, J. P. (2014). Schizophrenia and migration: ameta-analysis and review. AmericanJournal of Psychiatry

vanOs, J., Kenis, G., &amp Rutten, B. P. (2010). The environment andschizophrenia. Nature,468(7321),203-212.

Calkins,M. E., Tepper, P., Gur, R. C., Ragland, J. D., Klei, L., Wiener, H.W., … &amp Gur, R. E. (2014). Project among African-Americans toexplore risks for schizophrenia (PAARTNERS): evidence for impairmentand heritability of neurocognitive functioning in families ofschizophrenia patients. TheAmerican journal of psychiatry