ERIC Number: ED370025
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Integration of Cultural Values in the Treatment of a Suicidal Adolescent.
Identity formation is a process in which successive identifications with parents, siblings, peers, teachers, folk heroes, and cultural groups are synthesized into a coherent, consistent, and unique whole. This study reports the case of a 13 year old female, Jane, of mixed Latino and European American heritage who was admitted for long-term inpatient psychiatric care. Jane resembled her European-American father but was raised by her Latino mother and her abusive stepfather. She repeatedly ran away from home, performed poorly in school, and associated with gangs. Jane's home life predisposed her to gang involvement and her adoption of a negative identity. She had no successful role models and did not have access to the positive, self-affirming aspects of her heritage, which in general have been shown to offset pressures toward deviancy. Recognizing the importance of culture in disorders like Jane's, clinicians assessed how issues of cultural identity were affecting Jane's developmental progress and these results were incorporated into a general treatment program. The inpatient multidisciplinary team attended to the evolution and integration of a positive self-view--which included attention to culturally transmitted systems of norms, meanings, and values central to identity formation--by helping Jane discover positive and empowering elements of her heritage. (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (101st, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 20-24, 1993).