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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Abigail B. Sivan, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book creates guidelines for working with minority group children and adolescents in mental health settings. Using many clinical vignettes, the authors illustrate the importance of cultural differences in the diagnosis and treatment of young people.
Purpose: The purpose is to improve the mental health services offered to ethnically and culturally different children and adolescents. The authors offer concrete suggestions for interviewing, diagnosing, and intervening with these children and their caretakers. Guidance is needed in this area because mental health clinics are full of children from backgrounds very different from those attempting to help them.
Audience: The intended audience is community-based practitioners. The book is also useful for teachers and advanced students working in practicum settings. The authors are well suited to the task because they themselves are responsible for training programs at major urban medical centers.
Features: The book has an attractive cover and easy-to-read print. There are no illustrations; the case examples are numerous, brief, and relevant and they too contribute to the book's readability. The references include many useful but recently neglected articles on cultural differences and mental health. An updated section on psychological testing and academic assessment would be a useful addition.
Assessment: Writing a book on cultural diversity is a risky undertaking, which often trivializes the very differences about which it intends to sensitize. These authors succeed in their mission, offering practical and sensible guidelines for considering cultural issues in assessment and treatment. This is a valuable book for training programs and an informative book for those practitioners already involved in the mental health treatment of minority children and adolescents.