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Culture and Depression

  1. Foluso M. Williams Lawal-Solarin

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0246

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Lawal-Solarin, F. M. W. 2010. Culture and Depression. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Emory University School of Medicine

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Understanding the relationship between culture and depression is crucial to effectively assessing and treating this disorder in all populations. Traditional conceptualizations of depression tend to minimize or totally ignore the role of cultural factors in the experience, expression, course, and treatment of depressive symptoms. As a result, most assessment techniques and therapeutic approaches lack empirical support in the treatment of cultural minorities. Therefore, it is important to realize and compensate for the limitations of such approaches with this population. This article identifies and discusses cultural factors that are particularly relevant in the assessment and treatment of depressive disorders. General guidelines for work with depressed individuals from cultural minority groups are also discussed.


  • depression;
  • genetics;
  • minorities;
  • somatization;
  • biological differences