Causal beliefs and effects upon mental illness identification among chinese immigrant relatives of individuals with psychosis

Lawrence H. Yang, Ahtoy J. Wonpat-Borja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Identifying factors that facilitate treatment for psychotic disorders among Chinese-immigrants is crucial due to delayed treatment use. Identifying causal beliefs held by relatives thatmight predict identification of 'mental illness' as opposed to other 'indigenous labels' may promote more effective mental health service use. We examine what effects beliefs of 'physical causes' and other non-biomedical causal beliefs ('general social causes', and 'indigenous Chinese beliefs' or culture-specific epistemologies of illness) might have on mental illness identification. Forty-nine relatives of Chinese-immigrant consumers with psychosis were sampled. Higher endorsement of 'physical causes' was associated with mental illness labeling. However among the nonbiomedical causal beliefs, 'general social causes' demonstrated no relationshipwithmental illness identification,while endorsement of 'indigenous Chinese beliefs' showed a negative relationship. Effective treatment- and community-based psychoeducation, in addition to emphasizing biomedical models, might integrate indigenous Chinese epistemologies of illness to facilitate rapid identification of psychotic disorders and promote treatment use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-476
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity mental health journal
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Chinese
  • Explanatory models
  • Indigenous labeling
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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