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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Does the Current Focus on the Use of Empirically-Supported Prevention and Treatment Interventions Help Or Harm Children and Families of Minority Status?

Authors
item Zevenbergen, Andrea - UNIV OF NORTH DAKOTA
item Lei, Hu - UNIV OF NORTH DAKOTA
item Gray, Jacqueline

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 29, 2001
Publication Date: November 29, 2001
Citation: Zevenbergen, A., Lei, H., Gray, J.S. Does the current focus on the use of empirically-supported prevention and treatment interventions help or harm children and families of minority status? Presented at Third Conference on Minority Issues in Prevention, Nov 29-30, 2001, Tempe, AZ.

Interpretive Summary: Use of "empirically-supported treatments" is strongly advocated in the current literature (e.g., APA, 1996; Davison, 1998; Task Force, 1995). It is important to acknowledge, however, that the vast majority of empirically-supported treatments for children and families have been developed with European American samples (Kazdin & Weisz, 1998). Moreover, the characteristics of typical empirically-supported treatments (e.g., time-limited, directive, structured, and problem-focused) may be incongruent with the worldview of some individuals of ethnic minority status seeking treatment for psychological difficulties and be ineffective in assisting these individuals (Cuellar & Paniagua, 2000; Ivey, Ivey, & Simek-Morgan, 1997; Kantrowitz & Ballou, 1992; Sue, 1995). Given the significant focus on conducting empirically-supported treatments in current psychology training programs, one wonders if this emphasis is confusing to trainees who are also being exposed to multicultural counseling models in their training programs. Clearly, models of flexible use of empirically-supported treatments are discussed in the literature (e.g., Kendall, Chu, Gifford, Hayes, & Nauta, 1998). However, the existence of manualized treatments may lead to culturally insensitive implementations of empirically-supported treatments. Given the existing literature in this area as a context, we believe that the following questions might be informative for discussion by a multicultural group: (1) Are the emphases on the importance of utilizing empirically-supported treatments and the importance of conducting culturally-sensitive interventions currently incompatible? How might these emphases be integrated? Are there any barriers to their integration?; (2) Does the current focus on the need to utilize empirically-supported prevention and treatment interventions help or harm children and families of minority status?; and (3) Should research focus on demonstrating the efficacy of emic prevention and treament interventions or assess the efficacy of existing interventions for children and families of minority status? The goal of this discussion would be to elucidate how these two emphases of training (i.e., training in empirically-supported treatments and training in multicultural counseling) might be integrated and discussed together in psychology training programs. The discussion leaders would be clinical researchers with a total of over 20 years of supervision experience and varying cultural (i.e., American Indian, Chinese American, and European American) perspectives.

Technical Abstract: Use of "empirically-supported treatments" is strongly advocated in the current literature (e.g., APA, 1996; Davison, 1998; Task Force, 1995). It is important to acknowledge, however, that the vast majority of empirically-supported treatments for children and families have been developed with European American samples (Kazdin & Weisz, 1998). Moreover, the characteristics of typical empirically-supported treatments (e.g., time-limited, directive, structured, and problem-focused) may be incongruent with the worldview of some individuals of ethnic minority status seeking treatment for psychological difficulties and be ineffective in assisting these individuals (Cuellar & Paniagua, 2000; Ivey, Ivey, & Simek-Morgan, 1997; Kantrowitz & Ballou, 1992; Sue, 1995). Given the significant focus on conducting empirically-supported treatments in current psychology training programs, one wonders if this emphasis is confusing to trainees who are also being exposed to multicultural counseling models in their training programs. Clearly, models of flexible use of empirically-supported treatments are discussed in the literature (e.g., Kendall, Chu, Gifford, Hayes, & Nauta, 1998). However, the existence of manualized treatments may lead to culturally insensitive implementations of empirically-supported treatments. Given the existing literature in this area as a context, we believe that the following questions might be informative for discussion by a multicultural group: (1) Are the emphases on the importance of utilizing empirically-supported treatments and the importance of conducting culturally-sensitive interventions currently incompatible? How might these emphases be integrated? Are there any barriers to their integration?; (2) Does the current focus on the need to utilize empirically-supported prevention and treatment interventions help or harm children and families of minority status?; and (3) Should research focus on demonstrating the efficacy of emic prevention and treament interventions or assess the efficacy of existing interventions for children and families of minority status? The goal of this discussion would be to elucidate how these two emphases of training (i.e., training in empirically-supported treatments and training in multicultural counseling) might be integrated and discussed together in psychology training programs. The discussion leaders would be clinical researchers with a total of over 20 years of supervision experience and varying cultural (i.e., American Indian, Chinese American, and European American) perspectives.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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