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Title: Assessment and comparison of culturally based explanations for mental disorder among Singaporean Chinese youth
Authors: Mathews, M. 
Keywords: explanatory models
mental disorder
Singaporean Chinese
Issue Date: Jan-2011
Citation: Mathews, M. (2011-01). Assessment and comparison of culturally based explanations for mental disorder among Singaporean Chinese youth. International Journal of Social Psychiatry 57 (1) : 3-17. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: Culture is important to how populations understand the cause of mental disorder, a variable that has implications for treatment-seeking behaviour. Asian populations underutilize professional mental health treatment partly because of their endorsement of supernatural causation models to explain mental disorders, beliefs that stem from their religious backgrounds. Aims: This study sought to understand the dimensions of explanatory models used by three groups of Singaporean Chinese youth (n = 842) - Christian, Chinese religionist, no religion - and examined their responses to an instrument that combined explanations from psychological and organic perspectives on mental disorder with approaches from Asian and Western religious traditions. Results: Factor analysis revealed five factors. Two were psychological corresponding to the humanistic and cognitive-behavioural perspectives respectively. Another two, which were supernatural in nature, dealt with karmaic beliefs popular among Asian religionists and more classical religious explanations common in monotheistic religions. The remaining factor was deemed a physiological model although it incorporated an item that made it consistent with an Asian organic model. Conclusion: While groups differed in their endorsement of supernatural explanations, psychological perspectives had the strongest endorsement among this population. Regression analysis showed that individuals who endorsed supernatural explanations more strongly tended to have no exposure to psychology courses and heightened religiosity. © The Author(s), 2011.
Source Title: International Journal of Social Psychiatry
ISSN: 00207640
DOI: 10.1177/0020764010096853
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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