Date of Award
Program of Study
Social functioning is intertwined with one’s culture (Abdullah & Brown, 2011). Culture is broadly defined as the individual’s perception of the complexity of norms and rituals shared by a group of people. As Phinney (1992) has long noted, it is apparent that cultural factors can have a great influence on our identities and how we perceive the world around us. In Phinney’s opinion, this is especially true for sensitive topics such as mental health or mental illness. But could we fully understand what the cultural risk factors are that would predispose people toward biased views of mental health and mental illness? Those with a strong cultural identity who also come from collectivistic cultures could have more biases in mental health. In this thesis, I use the interdependent and independent sense of self or ‘I” and “We” scale (Dowd & Artistico, 2016), to explore that those from collectivistic cultures (Latinx, Black, Asian etc.) have a more interdependent sense of self. I also explore the relationship between closeness to one’s culture and mental health awareness. To this end, I develop a novel assessment for culture and mental health views. My findings showed a strong correlation between closeness to one’s culture and mental health awareness.
Cruz, Natalie, "Cultural Identity and Mental Health Awareness" (2021). CUNY Academic Works.