Term Paper: Ethnicity Culture or Counseling Diversity

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Ethnicity, Culture or Counseling Diveristy

Ethnicity, culture, or counseling diversity: Cultural diversity and Children

One of the major factors in development of children is the influence of other members of the family. The first matter to be understood is the matters that constitute an ethnic group and how that is related to culture. One of the greatest effects of culture is on development of education. We have studied the result of cultural factors with regard to medical treatment as a test case. Regarding cultural factors, one of the main elements are built in beliefs of one ethnic group about another and these determine their behavior towards each other. The entire process of learning by children has been studied, but the effect of Cultural diversity at that age needs to be studied more.

The changes in the twentieth century have come from four important changes in the society, and these have affected the children - an increasing participation of women in the labor force, a high and increasing absence of fathers from the household, the increased involvement of fathers when the family has succeeded in staying together and a very high amount of cultural diversity in United States. (Cabrera; Tamis-LeMonda; Bradley; Hofferth; Lamb, 2000) These changes have had high psychological effects on children and that needs study.

Method:

The method followed for this study is to find the facts as informed in certain studies and then come to a conclusion from the results of those studies. The concerned studies are all recent and have thus led to conclusions that will remain valid for at least a few more years.

Results and discussion:

An ethnic group refers to any group of individuals who had earlier shared a common geographic area and a shared identity as a group of people. Their culture is the common language they have, their history, beliefs and institutions that are the property of the group. They also develop value systems depending on the successes that are achieved by the group in their conflict with challenges and finding of opportunities in the area of their residence. This is what leads to groups of people who share similar ecological niches and historical experiences ultimately becoming a part of ethnic groups. These value systems are the main sources for our parenting practices and our evaluation of children as being good or bad. It also tells us of the requirements for a child to be successful in life. Even the socialization strategies used by parents depend on the set of values that they have grown up with. (Roosa; Dumka; Gonzales; Knight, 2002)

The parents also try their best to instill the same set of values in their children. Even when the parenting behavior looks similar from outside, the behavior may have different meanings within communities. This has been seen in the case of African-American and non-Hispanic White parents where similar actions were given different meanings. Some behaviors of the African-Americans were thought to be harsh or hostile by the whites, while the interpretation of African-Americans, standing as observers, was that the actions were a demonstration of love and warmth for the child. Some actions by African-American parents with their children was felt to be harsh and exercising a very high degree of control, and this was seen by observers among low-income African-American parents living in high-risk communities. Yet, it was seen that these actions produced healthy child outcomes which is different from what the actions had been seen to produce among middle-class, non-Hispanic whites. (Roosa; Dumka; Gonzales; Knight, 2002) Thus it is clear that the development of children is dependent on a number of factors and all those factors are not always easy to understand or the results of the actions comprehended.

One of the major concerns of all humans is with clinical care and at one stage of human life this is very important to all humans. At the same time when the individual gets old, it is important to note that there are differences in the role of family members when the treatment takes place. The role of ethnic minorities in this is very important in United States as they now constitute one third of the population. Some of these racial and ethnic groups do not give the same importance to autonomy of the patient in treatment when the disease is serious as also to end of life care for the individual. (Searight; Gafford, 2005) A lot of the children are now from marriages where one of the members of the marriage is from a different ethnic group and may have a different concept than the other. The question then comes is to the path that will be followed by the grown up child.

One of the most important relationships in United States is regarding the relationship between the blacks and whites and their cross cultural treatment. These attitudes help each of the groups react in a manner that is though to be correct by the other group. The attitudes have been clearly seen even when black patients have to come to white therapists even for psychological treatment. There are four expressions which may be called as different expressions of racism. The first of these are a feeling on bigotry among the whites and this consists of a conscious or unconscious feeling that whites are superior and the problems that are being seen in the black patient are due to the inferiority of the patient. Another way in which the white doctor may react is what may be called color blindness and this in psychological terms may be a type of refusal of the therapist to accept that there are color differences and certain results are caused by color difference. (Tharp, 1991)

The third attitude of the therapist may be paternalistic and this results in attribution of all the problems of the patient to the situation in the society and especially due to racism. This type of preconceived notion in the therapist will stop the therapist from understanding the contribution of the patient to the problem that the patient is facing. The fourth situation that the therapist may get into is in total belief in black power and this comes from a feeling of guilt. The result of this will be that the therapist will not be able to set the limits or correctly interpret the difficulties that the patient is facing. On the other side, the patient also may be acting in a manner to find out the attitudes of the therapist through a set of tests, and these are to find out as to what extent the therapist is accepting him as an individual.

This sort of a situation can be solved only when the therapist is able to understand the culture of the patient to some extent. This will enable the therapist to anticipate the feelings of the patients and his own reactions to working with black patients. This is also understood by younger persons and we can see that college youths clearly prefer to be treated by therapists who are similar to themselves. When we take samples from different areas, the results are a little different in different localities, but the preference of students is for counselors who are well educated, of the same ethnic group and gender and who share similar attitudes and values. The students generally use counseling services only when their preferences are met. (Tharp, 1991) This shows clearly that ethnic like and dislikes, and clear differences in ethnicity are realized from the beginning of human experiences.

The difference in culture carries on to affect the healthcare professionals also from those communities and whereas a white community doctor from United States would be likely to tell the complete truth, doctors from other communities would have a tendency to conceal serious diagnoses from patients as the disclosure of serious diagnoses may be viewed as being disrespectful, impolite or are even considered harmful for the patient. Among Hispanic, Chinese, and Pakistani communities, family members actively protect terminally ill patients from knowing about their own medical condition. This is the situation in many Asian cultures, as it is perceived to be unnecessarily cruel to inform a patient regarding a cancer diagnosis. This practice is not limited to only Asians, as even among people belonging to European background namely the Bosnian-Americans and Italian-Americans consider direct disclosure of illness as being disrespectful, and more importantly, inhumane. (Searight; Gafford, 2005)

These minorities now form a large portion of the population of United States. According to the 2000 census, only about 65% of the population of United States view themselves as white while others consider themselves to be from the following ethnic groups - black which comes to 13%; Hispanic -- 13%; Asian-Pacific Islander -- 4.5%; and American-Indian/Alaskan native which comes to 1.5%. In addition to this already 2.5% of the population view themselves as bi-ethnic and it is likely that this section of population will grow and there will be difficulties for the children to take decisions regarding medical… [END OF PREVIEW]

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