Disproportionate Diagnosis of Mental Disorders Among African American Versus European American Clients: Implications for Counseling Theory, Research, and Practice

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Abstract

Research generated by the professions of psychiatry and psychology reveals that African Americans are more often diagnosed with specific mental disorders (e.g., psychotic disorders) compared with European Americans. No research to date, however, has investigated whether professional counselors make differential diagnoses according to client race. This study (N = 1,648) found that counselors diagnosed African Americans with psychotic and childhood disorders at a disproportionately high rate. Implications for counseling theory and practice are discussed.

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