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Anxiety Disorders: Cultural Factors

Ethnic minorities comprise a growing segment of the U.S. population. Although anxiety disorders have been heavily investigated since the 1960s, investigations addressing the influence of culture on anxiety are relatively recent. Since the mid-1990s, there has been evidence that culture can and does play a role in how anxiety is expressed, what one believes its origins are, and even how one responds to traditional psychological treatment. The purpose of this entry is to highlight what is currently known about culture and anxiety. It first defines the concept of culture or ethnicity. Following that, the entry discusses the influence of culture on the expression of anxiety and how culture affects the measurement of anxiety. Finally, it discusses the impact of culture on the treatment for anxiety.

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