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Culture and Cultural Beliefs

Culture provides the individual with the context within which trauma is experienced and under-stood—whether a natural disaster of a hurricane or tsunami or a manmade disaster such as war, rape, sexual or physical abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, or bullying behavior on a playground. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network notes that, although culturally competent trauma treatment and practices are increasing, culture influences the perception of trauma and how individuals, groups, families, and communities respond to traumatic experiences. Culture is critical to understand trauma from the viewpoint of the survivor or groups of survivors of traumatic events. Culture also shapes the individual, family, and community response to trauma. In this entry a cultural framework will be used to understand the two dimensions of trauma—the perception ...

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