Exploring dimensions of culturally sensitive clinical styles with latinos

Yuhwa Eva Lu, Kurt C. Organista, Salvador Manzo, Lisa Wong, Jessica Phung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study sought to identify dimensions of culturally sensitive clinical practice by comparing the personal clinical styles of Latino and non-Latino clinicians, and their clinical decisions in respect to Latino immigrant clients. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Sixty Latino American clinicians and 47 non-Latino (White) clinicians in Northern California completed the Achieving Styles Inventory (ASI) which yields information on direct, instrumental and relational styles. Demographic data were obtained as well as information on language proficiency and years of clinical experience. Statistical analysis included uses of t-test, ANOVA, and multiple regression analysis and revealed significant differences between the two groups in personal achieving styles within all three domains. There were no significant differences on the demographic variables. Nine clinician members of each ethnic group were interviewed in-depth through non-directive interviewing styles to assess their clinical decision making via use of a case vignette. Content analysis pointed to similarities and differences in proposed assessment and intervention strategies. The Latino group displayed more culturally relevant interpretations. The non-Latino clinicians were more directive and instrumental than the Latinos who put more emphasis on self disclosure, case management, use of Spanish with the client, and crisis intervention. This finding is consistent with both the quantitative data analysis of ASI hypotheses and the expected linguistic/cultural findings of the qualitative content analysis. Bilingual non-Latino White clinicians showed more cultural sensitivity and competence than the monolingual non-Latino clinicians. These findings suggest that linguistic/cultural match and linguistic/cultural compatibility are important in cross-cultural clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-66
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001


  • Clinical cultural competence
  • Clinicians' achieving styles
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Latino immigrant clients/families
  • Latino vs. non-Latino clinicians
  • Social work practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education


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