ERIC Number: ED335427
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Cultural Factors Influencing the Cambodian Refugee School Child: Implications for Health Education.
Frye, Barbara A.
Of all of the Southeast Asian populations, Cambodian refugees are at the highest risk for physical and psychosocial problems. In order to treat them, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of Khmer culture. This paper describes the Khmer value of equilibrium as it affects such things as home remedies, for children's illnesses, managing stress, child-rearing, and the mother's role in her children's lives, and as it conflicts with the children's experience of American values. Disequilibrium is managed through active family intervention in some of the following ways: (1) the use of home remedies (sometimes misconstrued by Americans as child abuse); (2) the encouragement of laughter, prayer, and meditation to suppress bad feelings and cure depression (as opposed to the American way of urging the child to express feeling); (3) the avoidance of certain foods or the preparation of "balancing" foods when sick or emotionally distressed; and (4) a non-confrontational approach to adolescent problems, for which American culture is blamed. Acknowledging and building on these cultural manifestations of equilibrium can be an entry point for the school nurse or health educator into the bicultural world of the Cambodian refugee child. Sixteen references are included. (CJS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A