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Mental Health Moment Online

Gulf War Syndrome
This site contains annotated information for links to reports, history, medical and psychological information, research, resources and help information about the Gulf War and Gulf War Syndrome. It is presented in five sections: Introduction; Official Response; Medical Research; Conspiracy Theories; and Resources

Information and links to sites about Wildfires, updates and agencies, organizations and groups who fight fires and provide training, assistance, and other related services.


NIMH Meeting Announcements

Fifth Annual Innovations in Disaster Psychology Conference
"Psychosocial Reactions to Terrorist Attacks"
Sept. 29-Oct 1
Location: Radisson Hotel
Rapid City, South Dakota

You The Healer.

Oct. 26-Nov. 2
Eight day workshop in
Puerto Vallarta
archetypes, use of symbol/ ritual, experiential techniques.
Sonnee Weedn, Ph.D./Carol Weser, Ph.D.
32 CEs provided by Sierra Tucson.
Call for information and
brochure: (415) 897-7758.

Latino Psychology 2002 Conference
October 18-20, 2002
Providence, Rhode Island USA
Contact: Maria Garrido, Chair
"Latino Psychology 2002"
Adjunct Professor of Psychology
University of Rhode Island


According to research conducted in the US, 'narcissists' (people that 'love themselves') are terrible to work with, but do tend to be higher than average achievers. The need to bask in their own glory is so strong that they don't mind if it's at the expense of others this makes them difficult to work with and generates friction in the workplace. They do, however, perform 20 per cent better (in a wide variety of tests) - and well above average - if they are allowed to show off to an audience.


The latest findings suggest that too much or too little sleep can massively increase susceptibility to heart disease and other lethal disorders. Two separate studies in Boston have discovered that seven to eight hours is the optimum amount of sleep. The studies found that people who slept for nine hours or more were 70 per cent more likely to die during a 14-year period. Sleeping for six hours or less meant a 50 per cent higher chance of dying.

The exact reasons are unclear, but medical experts speculate that sleep deprivation may cause insulin resistance, increased stress hormone levels and weakening of the immune system. The reason behind the health risks of too much sleep is less clear, but it may be a consequence of undiscovered wider health problems.


It's summertime in Tornado Alley and the weather weenies are out in force. From all over the world they've converged on the southern Great Plains for a first-hand look at some severe storms - the ones that produce lightning, hail, enough rainfall to cause flash floods, and, of course, tornadoes. Many of these people are amateurs, hoping to spot twisters for the sheer thrill of it. But the several dozen researchers associated with the International H2O Project (IHOP) - touted as the largest field experiment in atmospheric science ever conducted in North America - are here for a different purpose. They want to understand the nitty gritty of how storms form, the phenomena that occur on a scale too small to be detected by fixed weather stations. Join College of Earth and Mineral Sciences writer Dana Bauer, traveling with Penn State meteorologists Paul Markowski and Yvette Richardson and the rest of the IHOP team as they follow the trail of storms across Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. For their first dispatch, go to For more on this project, go to

World Disaster Report Focuses on Reducing Risk

Reducing world poverty and hunger will not be possible unless the heavy toll of natural disasters on the poor is reduced, according to the latest World Disasters Report, an annual publication from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.


Demographic Characteristics

Psychotherapy is used in the United States, and probably a number of other countries, mainly with middle and upper class segments of the population. Somatic therapies tend to be used with the lower class and less educated sectors (Hollingshead and Redlich, 1958; Lorion, 1978). Generally, psychotherapy is chosen for Schofield's (1964) YAVIS people (Youthful, Attractive, Verbal, Intelligent, and Successful). It is not generally chosen for what might be called the QUOID people (Quiet, Ugly, Old, Indigent, and Dissimilar culturally). Howard and Orlinsky (1972) pointed out, however, that the community mental health movement was giving increased attention to working class, lower class and indigenous people. Gomes- Schwartz et al. (1978) provided an encouraging conclusion in their review:

"Many of the recent studies on the effects of social class (or related dimensions such as educational level or income) have failed to confirm what had become almost stereotyped notions about the lower class patient's intrinsic unsuitability for therapy. In four studies social class variables were not related to remaining in therapy." (p. 439)
Another way of looking at the demographic problem involves the question of the probability that different cultural groups will use mental health services in general and in comparison with other helping modalities. There is a significant number of people in the United States and other countries who seek what can be termed psychological services from folk resources, often religious or quasi-religious. For example, one could look at the resurgence of Native American use of indigenous therapeutic ceremonials (Jilek-Aal, 1978). In rather extensive reviews, Prince (1976, 1980), has urged therapists to study and utilize the self-healing processes existing in the culture. Of particular interest are the altered states of consciousness induced by the suffering person or in folk practices. Acosta (1979) contended that use of a curandero was not a significant factor among urban Chicanos. However, informal interviews and discussions with migrants and settled farm workers suggests that more use of curanderos and more belief in witchcraft may exist than Chicanos are willing to say directly to mental health workers. Further survey of the needs of rural people is needed.

Webster and Fretz (1978) found that Asian American, black and white students ranked several helping sources similarly. Family and friends came first, but the college counseling service was high on the list. Flores (1978) demonstrated that mental health center personnel and policies that were responsive to bicultural and bilingual needs attract clients. Acosta (1979) provided an analysis of barriers to Mexican American usage of services such as language problems and stereotypes among both caregivers and caretakers.

Psychopathology And Presenting Problems

There is some controversy concerning the importance of race as a factor in pathology, at least in the United States. King (1978) concluded that:

"The central consistent finding was that race alone could not account for the prevalence of mental illness and seems not to be the primary etiologic factor when trying to account for differences in the rates of psychopathology." (p. 413)
King also strongly endorsed a universalistic viewpoint,
"There is strong evidence to point to a basic unity of man across cultures which is reflected in common personality types, common basic forms of psychological disturbance." (p. 419)
In a comprehensive review, Warheit, Holzer, & Arey (1975) stated that low socioeconomic status is the most powerful predictor of poor mental health conditions. They also pointed out that Black and Hispanic Americans are disproportionately represented among the poor. In another study, Dohrenwend (1973) found that major life changes, often related to physical and mental breakdown, occur more frequently among the poor and women when compared with others. Raskin, Crook and Herman (1975) found significant similarities between Blacks and Whites in the core symptoms of depression when the groups were controlled for age and social class differences. However, Blacks showed more negativism and introjection of anger.

In contrast, some studies have found strong cultural differences in the expression of disorder, especially among non-Western societies. For example, Marsella, Kinzie, and Gordon (1973) and Tanaka-Matsumi and Marsella (1976) found domestic ethnic differences. Somatic expression of depression is more common among Chinese Americans than among Japanese Americans or Caucasians in Hawaii. Unfortunately, cross-cultural studies of mental disorders is confused by measurement problems, such as variations in words for states of mind or feeling. There are some cultures that have few, if any, words for depression or shame. There are others that have many. Marsella (1980) and Marsella, Murray and Golden (1974) discussed a number of these problems and suggested further research. An interesting review of the research on emotion and culture is presented by Boucher (1979).

Bensen and Miller (1966), Johnson (1971), and Westbrook et al. (1978) looked at ethnic and cultural differences in college student counseling problems. Generally, many of the problems reported by international students are similar to those of their fellow American students. These include academic work and finances. Language mastery is a special problem for those who come from non-European and non-English-speaking countries. It is probably important to point out that the English language is often a problem for American students as well. Johnson (1971) urged that foreign students be thought of as students first. Westbrook et al. (1978) found that the ranking of student problems was similar for Black and White students. However, it is important to point out that these studies are generally rather superficial. They don't go beyond a questionnaire given to students in classrooms. More subtle nuances involved in the cultural aspects of problem orientation need study in more depth. However, even questionnaires can demonstrate special problems and differences among foreign students. Some of these include problems that may have to do with climate, communication with Americans, discrimination, homesickness, depression, irritability, and tiredness. Generally, the variety of problems likely to be encountered by cross cultural counselors imply a strong need for generic skills. In a time when therapy/counseling training appears to be increasingly specialized, some thought needs to be given to its utility in work with other culture clients.

Client Expectations

Higginbotham (1977) reviewed client expectations. Arkoff, Thayer, and Elkind (1966) and Tan (1967) showed that Asian American students expect therapy to be directive, nurturant, practical and advice-giving. They often see a serious stigma in going to psychiatric services. However, they will more often go to counseling centers. Families try to avoid "losing face" and hide problems from public view. Fukuhara (1973) found similar student characteristics to be true in Japan as well.

On the basis of limited data, Peoples and Dell (1975) suggested that preference for counseling style may be more important than race differences. Both Black and White students preferred active rather than passive counselors when shown videos. Asian Americans rated directive counselors as being more credible and approachable (Atkinson et al., 1978). Lower class people, when compared with middle class people, were more oriented to treatment that was medical, directive, supportive, and in which they were passive (Aronson & Overall, 1966). Lorion (1978), however, found no significant socioeconomic differences in understanding the process of psychotherapy. Lorion argues that such discrepancies in the United States may be diminished by widespread television viewing. Higginbotham (1977) stated:

"In short, there appears to be scattered yet consistent empirical support for the contention that clients approach therapy with well-defined and individually diverse role expectations, therapist preferences, forms of support anticipated, types of advice sought, or type of medical care desired." (p. 111)
Client Preferences

Harrison (1975) and Higginbotham (1977) reviewed the research on client preferences for ethnic or racial background of counselors and therapists. This also involves satisfaction with actual client-counselor similarity and matching. Harrison (1975) concluded that:

"counselees tend to prefer counselors of the same race, particularly if they are black counselees". (p. 131)
However, Acosta and Sheehan (1976), in contrast to earlier studies with Mexican American students, found that they had as high a regard for Anglo professionals as those who came from their own ethnic group. They had a favorable attitude toward psychological services. Studies demonstrating conflicting results, some in favor of similar race counselors (Thompson and Cimbolic, 1978) and others in the other direction (Gamboa, Tosi & Riccio, 1976) that found white delinquent girls preferred a black counselor for discussing personal social problems.

While race itself may not be of importance for many Americans when approaching a counselor, there are likely to be individual differences in preference and other factors. Relative importance of a counselor's race, age, sex, etc. is probably highly susceptible more to local reputation and even national mass media effects.

Interests, Values, World Views, Work Orientation, And Attitudes

Sewell and Martin (1976) found that black male inner city, secondary school students when compared with whites, preferred occupations in the artistic, health and welfare fields. Shappell, Hall, and Tarrier (1971) contrasted inner city and suburban ninth graders in a study of occupational preferences. Both appeared to have a fairly realistic picture of the world of work. However, their work values were different. Inner city youths were more concerned with concrete extrinsic rewards, such as location and physical environment and time constraints. Suburban youths expressed values for some intrinsic rewards such as personal satisfaction. They also expressed values for some extrinsic rewards like opportunities for promotion and making friends. In a study of low income groups, Hager and Elton (1971) found that white college students were more interested in the physical sciences and blacks were more interested in the social sciences.

Korman, Greenhaus and Badin (1977), in a review of related literature, concluded that work values, reactions to work experiences, and job satisfaction show few consistent racial differences. Yankelovich (1974) suggested that the American "work ethic" may be going through a cultural shift into the post-industrial era. Albee (1977) called the US a "self-indulgent society" which is likely to be supplanted by the more hard-working Chinese and Japanese.

Using a values orientation scale based on the work of Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck (Szapocznik, Scopetta, Aranalde & Kurtines, 1978) demonstrated that Cubans in Miami preferred hierarchical social relations, subjugation to nature, and present time. They tended not to endorse idealized humanistic values. American adolescents, in contrast, preferred individuality in relationships, mastery over nature, and future times. They tended to endorse idealized humanistic values. The authors suggested that the therapeutic importance of using concrete, obtainable objectives in the near future and structural family therapy which manipulates dysfunctional interaction patterns.

Derald Sue (1978) saw two fundamental factors related to concerns involving work and world view. These include internal vs external locus of control or power and internal vs external locus of responsibility. He outlined ways that people differing on these factors should be treated in cross cultural counseling. In a related study, Berman (1979) showed that white counselors' diagnoses tend to be individualistic while blacks' views put more nearly equal blame or credit on the individual and society.

Acculturation And Alienation

The degree of identification and integration with the majority culture is important in mental health, counseling and therapy program planning. Torres-Matrullo (1974) found that Puerto Ricans with low acceptance and adjustment to the majority American culture were inclined to have higher depression and less self-confidence and sense of self-control. In a study of college freshmen, Burbach and Thompson (1971) found that blacks scored higher than others on total alienation. They were higher than whites on powerlessness and normlessness. They were higher than Puerto Ricans on social isolation. Guthrie (1980) presented a thorough review of alienation as related to psychopathology in various cultures.

Another factor of interest is the generational differences and length of stay of immigrant families. Among Asian Americans (Connor, 1975) and Mexican Americans (Buriel, 1975; Knight & Kagan, 1977; Knight, Kagan, Nelson & Gumbiner, 1978), children who varied in generation of upbringing in the United States clearly differ from one another. Later generations increase in similarity to general American norms and behavior patterns. Major conflicts can arise due to the fact that younger family members, especially males, acculturate faster than older members of the family. Using role stress hypotheses, Naditch and Morrissey (1976), in a study of Cuban adolescent refugees, concluded that high rates of mental illness relate to ambiguity about evaluations of role performances, especially in regard to dating and expressions of sexuality.

King (1978) found mixed evidence for an association between mental health and modernization in developing countries. Smither and Rodriquez-Giegling (1979) questioned the concept of marginality. They found that the degree of modernity did not correlate with anxiety among Indo-Chinese refugees. Marsella (1978) has provided an excellent review of the effects of modernization on individuals in traditional societies. He concludes by raising a question concerning the future: Do not highly developed societies with impending scarcities have a lot to learn from more "traditional" and less developed societies which get along on less and live more simply?"


Understanding and being sensitive to cultural differences, values and concerns is becoming increasingly important for counselors and therapists in today's complex world. For counselors preparing to provide counseling and other assistance cross culturally, within our own increasingly more diverse culture, and/or in a culturally diverse disaster relief operation, it is critical to become familiar with these factors. **********************************************************************************************


Acosta, F.X. (1979). Barriers between mental health services and Mexican Americans: An examination of a paradox. American Journal of Community Psychology, 7, 503-520.

Acosta, F. X. & Sheehan, J.G. (1976). Preferences toward Mexican-American and Anglo-American psychotherapies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 44, 272-279.

Albee, G.W. (1977). The Protestant ethic, sex and psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 32, 150-161.

Arkhoff, A., Thayer, F., & Elkind, L. Mental health and counseling ideas of Asian and American students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 13, 219-228.

Aronson, H. & Overall, B. (1966). Treatment expectancies of patients in two social classes. Social Work, 11, 35-41.

Atkinson, D.R., Maruyama, M. & Matsui, S. (1978). Effects of counselor race and counseling approach on Asian Americans' perceptions of counselor credibility and utility. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 25, 76-83.

Benson, A.G. & Miller, R.E. (1966). A preliminary report on uses of the Michigan International Student Problem Inventory in research, orientation and counseling, developing a balanced program and evaluating potential for academic success of/for foreign students. Unpublished paper, Michigan State University, International Programs Office, May.

Berman, J. (1979). Counseling skills used by black and white male and female counselors. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 32, 99.

Boucher, J.D. (1979). Culture and emotion. In A.J. Marsella, R.G. Tharp, & T.J. Ciborowski (Eds.), Perspectives on cross-cultural psychology. New York: Academic press.

Burbach, H.J. & Thompson, M.A. (1971). Alienation among college freshmen: A comparison of Puerto Rican, black and white students. Journal of College Student Personnel, 12, 248-252.

Buriel, R. (1975). Cognitive styles among three generations of Mexican American children. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 6, 417-429.

Connor, J.W. (1975). Value changes in third generation Japanese Americans. Journal of Personality Assessment, 39, 597-600.

Dohrenwend, B.S. (1973). Social status and stressful events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28, 225-235.

Flores, j.L. (1978). The utiliosation of a community mental health service by Mexican-Americans. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 24, 271-275.

Fukuhara, M. (1973). Student expectations of counseling: A cross-cultural study. Japanese Psychological Research, 15, 179-193.

Gamboa, A.M., Tosi, D.J., & Riccio, A.C. (1976). Race and counselor climate in the counselor preference of delinquent girls. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 23, 160-162.

Gomes-Schwartz, B., Hadley, S.W., & Strupp, H.H. (1978). Individual psychotherapy and behavior therapy. Annual Review of Psychology, 29, 435-472.

Guthrie, G. (1980). Alienation and anomie. In H.C. Triandis & J.G. Draguns (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology, Vol. 6. Psychopathology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Hager, P.C. & Elton, C.F. (1971). The vocational interest of black males. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 1, 153-158.

Harrison, I.K. (1975). Race as a counselor-client variable in counseling and psychotherapy: A review of the research. The Counseling Psychologist, 5(1), 124-133.

Higginbotham, H.N. (1977). Culture and the role of client expectancy in psychotherapy. Topics in Culture Learning, 5, 107-124.

Hollingshead, A.B. & Redlich, F.C. (1958). Social class and mental illness. New York: Wiley.

Howard, K.I. & Orlinsky, D.E. (1972). Psychotherapeutic processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 23, 615-668.

Jilek-Aal, W. (1978). Native renaissance: The survival and revival of indigenous therapeutic ceremonials among North American Indians. Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review, 15, 117-148.

Johnson, D.C. (1971). Problems of foreign students. International Educational and Cultural Exchange, 7, 61-68.

King, L.M. (1978). Social and cultural influences on psychopathology. Annual Review of Psychology, 28, 323-362.

Knight, G.P. & Kagan, S. (1977). Acculturation of prosocial and competitive behaviors among second- and third-generation Mexican-American children. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 8, 273-284.

Knight, G.P., Kagan, S., Nelson, W., & Gumbiner, J. (1978). Acculturation of second- and third- generation Mexican-American children: Field dependence, locus of control, self-esteem, and school achievement. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychologyt, 9, 87-98.

Korman, A.K., Greenhaus, J.H., & Badin, I.J. (1977). Personnel attitudes and motivation. Annual Review of Psychology, 28, 175-196.

Lorion, R. P, (1978). Research on psychotherapy and behavior change with the disadvantaged: Past, present and future directions. In S.L. Garfield & A.E. Bergin (Eds.), Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change: An empirical analysis. (2nd ed.) New york: Wiley.

Marsella, A.J. (1978). Thoughts on cross-cultural studies on the epidemiology of depression. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 2, 343-357.

Marsella, A.j. (1980). Depressive experience and disorder across culture. In H. Triandis & J. Draguns (Eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology Vol. 5. Culture and psychopathology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Marsella, A.J., Kinzie, D., & Gordon, C. (1973). Ethnic variations in expression of depression. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 4, 435-458.

Marsella, A.J., Murray, M.D., & Golden, C. (1974). Ethnic variations in the phenomenology of emotions: I. Shame. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 5, 312-328.

Naditch, M.P. & Morrissey, R.F. (1976). Role stress, personality and psychopathology in a group of immigrant adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 113-118.

Peoples, V.Y. & Dell, D.M. (1975). Black and white student preferences for counselor roles. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 22, 529-534.

Prince, R.H. (1976). Psychotherapy as the manipulation of endogenous healing mechanisms: A transcultural survey. Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review, 13, 115-134.

Prince, R.H. (1980). Variations in psychotherapeutic procedures. in H.C. Triandis & J.G. Draguns (Eds.). Handbook of cross-cultural psychology. Vol. 6 Psychopathology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Raskin, A., Crook, T.H. & Herman, K.D. (1975). Psychiatry history and symptom differences in black and white depressed inpatients. journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 43, 73-80.

Schofield, W. (1964). Psychotherapy: The purchase of friendship. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Sewell, T.E. & martin, R.P. (1976). Racial differences in patterns of occupational choice in adolescents. Psychology in the Schools, 13, 326-333.

Shappell, D.L., Hall, L.G., & Tarrier, R.B. (1971). Perceptions of the world of work: Inner city vs suburbia. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 18, 55-59.

Smither, R. & Rodriguez-Giegling, M. (1979). Marginality, modernity and anxiety in Indochinese refugees. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 10, 469-478.

Sue, D.W. (1978). World views and counseling. Personnel and Guidance Journal, 56, 458-462.

Szapocznik, J., Scopetta, M.A., Aranalde, M. & Kurtines, W. (1978). Cuban value structure: Treatment implications. Journal of Consulting and clinical Psychology, 46, 961-970.

Tan, H. (1967). Intercultural study of counseling expectancies. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 14, 122-130.

Tanaka-matsumi, J. & Marsella, A.J. (1976). Cross-cultural variations in the phenomenol;ogical experience of depression: I. Word association studies. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 7, 379-396.

Thompson, R.A. & Cimbolic, P. (1978). Black students' counselor preference and attitudes toward counseling center use. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 25, 570-=575.

Torres-Matrulo, C. (1974). Acculturation and psychopathology among Puerto Rican women in mainland United States. Dissertation Abstracts International, 35(6-B), 3041.

Warheit, G.J., Holtzer, C.E., & Arey, S.A. (1975). Race and mental illness: An epidemiological update. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 16, 243-256.

Webster, D.W. & Fretz, B.R. (1978). Asian-American, black and white college students' preferences for help-giving sources. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 25, 124-130.

Westbrook, F.D., Miyares, J. & Roberts, J.H. (1978). Perceived problem areas by black and white students and hints about comparative counseling needs. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 25, 119-123.

Yankelovich, D. (1974). The meaning of work. In J.M. Rosow (Ed.), The worker and the job. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

To search for books on disasters and disaster mental
health topics, leaders, leadership, orgainizations,
crisis intervention, leaders and crises, and related
topics and purchase them online, go to the following url:

Contact your local Mental Health Center or
check the yellow pages for counselors, psychologists,
therapists, and other Mental health Professionals in
your area for further information.

George W. Doherty
O'Dochartaigh Associates
Box 786
Laramie, WY 82073-0786


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