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  • Cited by 2
  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: June 2012

22 - Cultural Diversity and Mental Health Treatment

from Part III - Mental Health Systems and Policy


This chapter focuses primarily on one subset of the social stressors that impinge on children and adolescents: stressors that are linked to their social memberships in particular families. It examines how family composition and parental employment patterns, which together shape family economic position, are linked to patterns of parent-child interaction as well as to the development and persistence of behavior problems. Social-psychological theory and empirical research both have suggested that the conditions adults experience at work affect their own cognitive functioning and emotional well-being and shape values they hold for their children. Social stressors-particularly parental conflict and unstable adult family composition, difficult parental working conditions, and inadequate incomes undermine the quality of parental child rearing and so make the development of behavior problems more likely. When such stressors increase, children will exhibit more behavior problems. Conversely, decreases in social stressors should diminish children's behavior problems over time.

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