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Foundations of Multicultural Psychology Research to Inform Effective Practice

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-09-14
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association

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Multicultural psychology is a vibrant, emerging discipline with great potential to inform therapists about cultural considerations relevant to mental health. But to what extent are existing assumptions about culturally-informed practice based on research evidence?

This book brings clarity to the current evidence base, shifting the conversation toward greater inclusion of cultural factors in psychotherapy and helping those conversations become more reliant on data than on opinion. Using meta-analytic methods to summarize what we know, this balanced, comprehensive book is a major step towards establishing a core set of principles for multicultural scholarship and providing answers to the fundamental questions in the field. For instance, how large are racial discrepancies in mental health service utilization and what factors predict those discrepancies? To what extent are perceptions of racism and ethnic identity associated with psychological well-being? And to what extent can therapists’ multicultural training and competence benefit diverse clients? The answers to these questions are relevant and important to every therapist who works in our multicultural world.

Author Biography

Timothy B. Smith, PhD, is a professor and department chair of the Department of Counseling Psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. His research on multicultural psychology, spirituality, and quality relationships has received several national awards, including from APA Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race). He is a Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of APA (Division 17, Society of Counseling Psychology).

Joseph E. Trimble, PhD, is a Distinguished University Professor and professor of psychology at Western Washington University and a President's Professor at the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has written more than 140 publications on multicultural topics in psychology, including 20 books. His excellence in teaching and research awards for his work in the field of multicultural psychology include the Janet E. Helms Award for Mentoring and Scholarship in Professional Psychology; the Distinguished Elder Award from the National Multicultural Conference and Summit; the Henry Tomes Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Psychology; the International Lifetime Achievement Award for Multicultural and Diversity Counseling awarded by the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education; the 2013 Francis J. Bonner, MD Award from the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital; and the 2013 Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction: Multiculturalism in Psychology and Mental Health Services

I. Synthesis of Multicultural Research on Therapist Characteristics

  1. Multicultural Education/Training and Experience: A Meta-Analysis of Surveys and Outcome Studies
  2. Therapist Multicultural Competence: A Meta-Analysis of Client Experiences in Treatment

II. Synthesis of Research on the Experiences of People of Color With Mental Health Services

  1. Mental Health Service Utilization Across Race: A Meta-Analysis of Surveys and Archival Studies
  2. Participation of Clients of Color in Mental Health Services: A Meta-Analysis of Treatment Attendance and Treatment Completion/Attrition
  3. Matching Clients With Therapists on the Basis of Race or Ethnicity: A Meta-Analysis of Clients' Level of Participation in Treatment
  4. Culturally Adapted Mental Health Services: An Updated Meta-Analysis of Client Outcomes
  5. Acculturation Level and Perceptions of Mental Health Services Among People of Color: A Meta-Analysis

III. Synthesis of Research on the Experiences and Well-Being of People of Color

  1. The Association of Received Racism With the Well-Being of People of Color: A Meta-Analytic Review
  2. Ethnic Identity and Well-Being of People of Color: An Updated Meta-Analysis

IV. Foundations for the Future

  1. Philosophical Considerations for the Foundation of Multicultural Psychology
  2. Firming up the Foundation for an Evidenced-Based Multicultural Psychology

Appendix. General Methods of the Meta-Analyses (Chapters 2–10)



About the Authors

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