Meeting the Needs of Migrants: Applying the Bioecological Systems Theory Model to Assess Multicultural Competency in Mental Health
The migrant population (immigrant and refugee) in the United States continues to soar. Research shows that migrants are not only at a greater risk for mental health issues, but subsequently mental health services are often ill equipped to help due to power differentials, shame, biases, cultural and language difficulties. Theoretical literature suggests applications of The Bioecological Systems Theory Model to support cultural work with migrants in mental health. The present dissertation research is the first to apply this model to a migrant in order to assess multicultural competency in mental health providers. Using a mixed-methods design, a sample of one hundred and twenty-one (N = 121) participants from various mental health fields and programs completed the Multicultural Case Conceptualization Ability (MCCA) exercise, fifty-three (n = 53) of which were in an intervention group and sixty-eight (n = 68) served as the control group. Quantitative results indicated that the intervention group did not increase in the MCCA exercise score outcomes after introductory exposure to the model as applied to a migrant, and that ethnicity is not a predictor of multicultural competency. Additionally, qualitative data revealed the following emerging themes: a) Contextualizing Matters, b) Characterizing the Model, and c) Exposing Power Differentials. Implications, such as using the model for conceptualization processes of migrant client experiences and for the assessment of power differentials in mental health settings, are discussed. Findings also demonstrate the model’s potential to serve as both a clinical and social justice tool for empathy and advocacy efforts with migrants in mental health.
Mental health|Counseling Psychology
Shabnam Etemadi Brady,
"Meeting the Needs of Migrants: Applying the Bioecological Systems Theory Model to Assess Multicultural Competency in Mental Health"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.