Culturally Sensitive Social Work Practice with Arab Clients in Mental Health Settings

By Al-Krenawi, Alean; Graham, John R. | Health and Social Work, February 2000 | Go to article overview

Culturally Sensitive Social Work Practice with Arab Clients in Mental Health Settings


Al-Krenawi, Alean, Graham, John R., Health and Social Work


Several culturally specific practical considerations should inform social work interventions with ethnic Arab peoples in Arab countries or in Western nations. These include taking into account gender relations, individuals' places in their families and communities, patterns of mental health services use, and, for practice in Western nations, the client's level of acculturation. Such aspects provide the basis for specific guidelines in working with ethnic Arab mental health clients. These include an emphasis on short-term, directive treatment; communication patterns that are passive and informal; patients' understanding of external loci of control and their use of ethnospecific idioms of distress; and, where appropriate, the integration of modern and traditional healing systems.

Ethnic Arab peoples have one of the world's highest rates of population increase. There are 255 million people in 21 Arab countries in North Africa and the Middle East, and they constitute a significant and growing population in such Western countries as Australia (210,000), Canada (80,000), France (2 million), Britain (210,000), and the United States (700,000), as well as Israel (1 million). (Al-Boustani & Farques, 1991; Al-Krenawi & Graham, 1998; UNESCO, 1996). A notable proportion of Arab peoples are Muslim, and Islam is the world's second most practiced religion, with one of the highest increases in the number of practitioners. Today there are an estimated 6 million Muslims in the United States, and nearly 15 percent are people of Arab ethnic origin (Newsweek, 1998). Despite Arab peoples' presence in the West and East, there has been little published social work practice research to date related to this population.

Researchers in social work (Al-Krenawi & Graham, 1996a, 1996b, 1997a, 1997b; Al-Krenawi, Graham, & Al-Krenawi, 1997; Lum, 1992; Mass & Al-Krenawi, 1994) and allied disciplines (Al-Issa, 1995; Bilu & Witztum, 1995; Budman, Lipson, & Meleis, 1992) have differentiated among the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to the ethnic and racial diversity of people who may need mental health and social services. The literature provides insight into mental health practice with families of various ethnic origins, among them African (Franklin, Sarr, Gueye, & Sylla, 1996), African American (Ahia, 1997; Baker, 1994; Kendall, 1996; Logan, 1996), Asian American (Lorenzo, 1988), Chinese (Bentelspacher, DeSilva, Goh, & LaRowe, 1996; Lai, 1995; Pearson, 1996; Pearson & Phillips, 1994; Shek, 1996; Wang, 1994; Xiong et al., 1994), Greek (Madianos, GefouMadianou, & Costas, 1993), Italian (Fandetti & Gelfand, 1978), Japanese American (Hsu, Tseng, Ashton, & McDermott, 1983), Korean (Hurh & Kim, 1994), ), Latino (De Snyder, Diaz -Perez, Maldonado, & Bautista, 1998), Maori (Chaplow, Chaplow, & Maniapoto, 1993), Native American (Angell, 1997; Trimble, 1990), and Vietnamese (Phan, 1997). However, a great deal remains unknown, because multicultural social work is a heterogeneous and multifaceted phenomenon. Also, many ethnic groups, such as Arab peoples, have not received comparable scrutiny by academic researchers.

Because the topic of social work practice with Arab peoples is complex and because the literature disparate, the present article concentrates on one field of intervention, mental health practice. Future research should analyze other fields such as addictions, child welfare, or gerontology. Presented here is an overview of major practice intervention guidelines resulting from the integration of recent interdisciplinary research (Abudabbeh & Nydell, 1993; Al-Krenawi, 1996; Al-Krenawi & Graham, 1997b, 1997c; Al-Krenawi et al., 1997; Jackson, 1997; Katchadourian, 1974; Qouta, Punamaki, & El-Sarraj, 1995; Savaya & Malkinson, 1997; Timmi, 1995). Although we recognize the diverse aspects of ethnic Arab life, as well as its presence in virtually all countries, the article emphasizes principles of mental health practice that have common and transnational applications. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Culturally Sensitive Social Work Practice with Arab Clients in Mental Health Settings
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.