Understanding Health Beliefs about Illness: A Culturally Responsive Approach

This study extends Landrine and Klonoff's research (1994) examining the unique beliefs about illness among individuals from culturally diverse groups. A volunteer sample of 226 participants was surveyed regarding their perceptions on the causes of illness. Participants were asked to (1) generate and rate the causes of illness in terms of importance, and (2) rate the importance of researcher-provided causes of illness. A factor analysis resulted in the identification of five interpretable factors. A significant difference in the attribution of illness to supernatural factors was found between People of Color and their European American counterparts. Recommendations are offered for rehabilitation counselors to work more effectively with clients of color. Areas for future research are suggested.

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