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Cultural competency of adolescent ethnic minority females: Theory, research and practice

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  1. Introduction
  2. The empirical lens
  3. Empirical knowledge
  4. Theory: A framework
  5. Empirical evidence
    1. Additional research on cultural competence
  6. Diversity issues
  7. The practical lens
    1. The client system
    2. Developmental challenges
    3. Relevance of empowerment theory
    4. Application of empirical literature
    5. Client fit with theory and research
  8. Conclusion
  9. References

As the land of immigrants, the United States is arguably in the most need of a culturally competent society. Yet, internationally Americans are increasingly regarded as US-centric (Berzonsky et al., 2003; Fullerton, 2005; Pew Research Center, 2005). Given such issues as teen pregnancy, illiteracy, homelessness, sexism, and racism, it may seem peculiar to put cultural incompetence into the dialogue on national social problems. However, the lack of cultural competence is often a contributing factor to these other social issues (e.g. American Medical Student Association, 2007; Carillo et al., 1999; Dressler & Bindon, 2002; Ihara, 2004). For example, in teen pregnancy, Latino girls may be affected by religion (Wilkinson-Lee et al., 2006), and in healthcare, service delivery to recent immigrants can be impeded by language barriers (Ihara, 2004). Human behavior theorists have also noted the global importance of cultural competence.

[...] Cultural competency and quality of care: obtaining the patient's perspective. The Commonwealth Fund Peterson, N.A., Lowe, J.B., Aquilino, M.L., and Schneider, J.E. (2005). Linking social cohesion and gender to intrapersonal and interactional empowerment: Support and new implications for theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 233?244. Pew Research Center (2005, June 23). Pew global attitudes project ii: Image of the American people: U.S. image up slightly, but still negative. Retrieved October from http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=802. Raheim, S. (2001). Cultural competence: A requirement for empowerment practice. [...]


[...] Such an inquiry started from the position of the majority or dominant cultural groups, and the major purpose of those articles was to find methods to help those educators, administrators, nurses, or physicians who belonged to dominant cultures to take steps toward minority groups? (Chang p. 188). This approach surely creates multiple gaps in research. Foremost, the minority groups should also be represented in the inquiries of cultural competence. Moreover, this approach does not consider the cultural competence of minority group members. [...]


[...] The development of a cultural competency not only affects that individual, but it empowers others and other communities, by recognizing, affirming, and valuing their experiences (Robbins et al., 2006). In essence, cultural incompetence is a form of illiteracy. Through the Empowerment Theory lens, we understand that combating cultural incompetence requires a detailed process. Given that a process takes time, it all the more validates adolescents as a prime target community to begin this intervention. The Empirical Lens Before appropriate interventions can commence, one must adequately prepare and plan. [...]

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