Date of Award

1996

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kral, M.

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The present study is an investigation of psychosis in Chamorro culture--the indigenous people of the Marianas Islands. There were five primary goals of the study: (1) to present an indepth description of the delusional thought structure and content in schizophrenic Chamorros; (2) to explore the potential connection between the Chamorro cultural and historical context, and the content of Chamorro delusional thought; (3) to discover the Chamorro schizophrenics' explanatory models of their mental health problems; (4) to investigate whether Chamorro schizophrenics reported the presence of factors associated with less industrialized cultures; and (5) to evaluate the usefulness of employing a qualitative methodology in an investigation of psychotic thought processes. Twenty Chamorros diagnosed as schizophrenic from mental health facilities in Saipan and Guam were interviewed. An interpretive cultural analysis was conducted to relate content categories to the cultural context. Results indicated that, with the exception of two culture-specific delusional themes (witchcraft and poisoning), there were no remarkable differences in delusional thought content between North American and Chamorro schizophrenics. The explanatory models described by the informants were also similar to those expected in North American mental health clients. Informants reported the strong presence of extended family; however, this influence was not always positive. The informants also described considerable stigmatization of mental health clients. In general, the findings indicate that there is an amalgamation of Western and Chamorro cultural content, an adoption of Western explanatory models, and few factors characteristic of less industrialized cultures. This likely reflects the Chamorro history of colonization and Westernization, and the current cultural context of American and Chamorro values and beliefs. Finally, a qualitative, cultural analysis proved to be a useful tool to understand the experience and world view of schizophrenic individuals. This methodology generated detailed data which allowed the informants the freedom to construct their own stories. Suggestions for cross-cultural, individual psychotherapeutic treatment with schizophrenic individuals are offered.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1996 .K44. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 59-08, Section: B, page: 4469. Adviser: Michael Kral. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1996.

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