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Minority and Cross-Cultural Aspects of Neuropsychological Assessment: Enduring and Emerging Trends, Second Edition. F. Richard Ferraro, Ed. (2015) London, England, and New York, NY Taylor & Francis. 538 pp.

Pi, Edmond H. MD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: May 2016 - Volume 204 - Issue 5 - p 406
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000513
Book Reviews

Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences Keck School of Medicine University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA

The United States population has become increasingly diverse. Today, nearly 3 persons in 10 is a member of an ethnic minority group, and more than 40 million Americans are foreign-born. In the ethnically diverse United States, there has been increasing interest in the impact of ethnicity and culture on the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders including the incidence, prevalence, and natural history of disorders in various ethnic groups; the ways in which members of different ethnic groups seek help from mental health professionals, as well as traditional or folk healers; differences in the way symptoms are expressed in different cultures; and the impact of cultural differences between patient and professional in the diagnostic and treatment process. As pointed out by the editor, R. Richard Ferraro, minority and cross-cultural psychology is more relevant now than ever in our diverse world. Indeed, while embracing globalization, facing worldwide swiftly shifting of the landscape of mental health in the recent years, and the increasing mobility of population and migration of people to different locations/countries/continents, now, societies have become much more diverse in terms of ethnicity and culture than ever before. A better understanding of cross-cultural perspective in neuropsychological assessment is no longer an option but an essence for mental health professionals who evaluate an increasing number of people from different ethnic and divergent sociocultural backgrounds, such as minorities. Pair this with the fact that people of all cultures and ethnic groups, so called “baby boomers,” are living longer and experiencing age-related ailments, especially neurocognitive disorders.

Culturally determined mental health beliefs and practices can profoundly influence the neuropsychological assessment. There has been increasing awareness of cross-cultural aspects of neuropsychological assessment. While we search for better neuropsychological assessment for a wide spectrum of mental disorders, the second edition of Minority and Cross-Cultural Aspects of Neuropsychological Assessment: Enduring and Emerging Trends is a timely update. This book provides a useful, comprehensive, concise book in neuropsychological assessment for clinicians and delivers core knowledge and information in a succinct and accessible manner. It is well organized and easy to read, and its content reflects 60 authors’ own expertise as well as an excellent summary of the experience and research of others with emphasis on minority and cross-cultural aspects of neuropsychological assessment. All these relevant topics are exceptionally well referenced. The authors who are the experts in the field have updated the forefront current developments, including the materials of the latest research findings and references in the chapters. Like the first edition, this updated book re-emphasizes the ever-growing need for accurate and objective neuropsychological assessment to a wider subset of individuals, crossing many cultural and minority barriers in the process.

This book as the title implies, the Enduring aspect of chapters updates information concerning the ethnic groups, such as Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics/Latinos, previously covered in the first edition. The Emerging aspect of the second edition includes added new chapters concerning cultural issues in more groups, such as South Africans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Old Order Anabaptists (Amish and Mennonite), Brazilians/Portuguese, children with learning disabilities, adolescents, and the elderly, malingering, and intimate partner violence. This book addresses the ever-growing need for neuropsychological assessment to a wider subset of individuals, crossing diverse cultural and minority issues, and a particularly relevant and important aspect of this book is that many chapters address the barriers and practical approaches to neuropsychological assessment, as well as the future cross-cultural issues in the field.

Finally, clinicians who assess ethnically and culturally diverse populations with mental disorders now have to be aware of the issues described in this book to establish accurate assessment and then tailor the therapeutic environment to be “culturally responsive” and to assure high quality of care. This updated edition has achieved the goal stated in the preface: “The ultimate goal of this revised edited book will be to bring together in the same book leading (and newer) authorities on cross-cultural and minority neuropsychological assessment.” This book is a comprehensive summary of the current state of the art and an essential reading for cognitive and clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists who are involved in teaching as well as research. Also, this book is a valuable reference for clinicians who are working in this particular field. Furthermore, this is a model textbook for advanced teaching courses dealing with cross-cultural issues and ethnic minority populations.

Edmond H. Pi, MD

Professor Emeritus of Clinical Psychiatry

and the Behavioral Sciences

Keck School of Medicine

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

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The author declares no conflict of interest.

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