Mental health problems in ethnic minority groups
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Psychiatr Pol 2012;46(3):451-459
The aim of this paper is to provide an insight into the specificity of mental health issues as experienced by ethnic minority groups' representatives. A substantial body of evidence clearly indicates the differences in incidence of psychosis, affective disorders and suicidal tendencies in members of minority groups compared to the rest of the population. Relevant statistical data will be presented and examined from both a biological and socio-cultural point of view. Hoffman's Social Deafferentation Hypothesis will be introduced as a possible explanation of high incidence of psychotic disorders in immigrants. Subsequently, socio-cultural factors will receive attention. Acculturation and identity issues will be taken into account with regards to the data suggesting that these are second generation immigrants that suffer from mental health disorders most. The fact of being discriminated against and being exposed to negative social messages regarding one's group of reference will also be taken into consideration. Moreover, ethnic minorities will be compared on this dimension with other groups discriminated against, such as women and sexual minorities.
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