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mental disorders of variation across different

mental disorders of variation across different

Types of Mental Disorders Marsella offers a slightly different perspective that accounts for variation among mental disorders. He proposes that the least cultural variation occurs in mental disorders that are the most biologically based, such as severe neurological disease, and the most cultural variation occurs in mental disorders that most closely resemble ‘‘normal’’ behavior (and therefore, are presumably the least biologically based).

Thus, he classifies disorders in the following way (from the least to the most culturally variable): severe neurological disease, minor neurological disease, functional psychotic disorders, neurotic disorders, and minor transient states.

According to Marsella disorders such as schizophrenia would vary less across cultures than unipolar depression or general anxiety disorder. Although this perspective appears to explain much of the current empirical f indings, it is limited by our incomplete knowledge of the ‘‘biological’’ aspects of various mental disorders.

Thus, it is unclear whether specific neurotic disorders such as depression are indeed less biological than psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Findings from the empirical literature do not entirely confirm or disconfirm any of these theoretical perspectives. Instead, empirical findings support different aspects of each theoretical perspective. Before turning to the empirical literature on culture and psychopathology, we discuss one of the most challenging issues in the cross-cultural study of psychopathology—assessment.

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