Beyond Cultural Competence: Human Diversity and the Appositeness of Asseverative Goals


Address correspondence to Arthur M. Nezu, Department of Psychology, MS 515, Drexel University, 245 N. 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102–1192. E-mail:


I argue that, as a profession, psychology needs to aspire beyond the goal of achieving cultural competence when addressing issues of human diversity. Although laudable, cultural competency as a goal may not set the bar high enough to achieve equity regarding those minority groups traditionally neglected or marginalized. As such, I further argue that asseverative objectives—ones that ask us to aver, affirm, and embrace human diversity—would be more consistent with a truly egalitarian perspective and our own code of ethics. I then describe barriers to achieving such goals that exist as endemic aspects of clinical psychology's worldview of human behavior and psychopathology, as well as inherent characteristics of simply being human. Last, I suggest that in order to reach such asseverative goals, we need to be more active (as compared to simply reading relevant journal articles) in our daily activities when it comes to issues of human diversity.