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Contribution to Book
Assessing somatization with Asian American clients
Guide to Psychological Assessment with Asian Americans (2014)
  • Cara S. Maffini, San Jose State University
  • Y. J. Wong, Indiana University
This chapter examines the assessment of somatization with Asian-American clients, who have been traditionally identified as a group that is more likely to present with somatic symptoms as indicators of emotional distress. Somatization refers to physical symptoms that are often manifestations of psychological and emotional distress. In this chapter, we discuss what somatization is, why it occurs among Asian-American clients, and what clinicians can do to assess this symptom presentation. We examine three clusters of somatization: somatoform disorders, culturally bound somatic syndromes, and somatic symptoms. We discuss possible reasons Asian-Americans somaticize including a conceptualization of mind and body as integrated, stigma associated with mental health, and culturally sanctioned values regarding emotional expression. We then examine how to work with clients with these presentations and review assessments created specifically for Asian-American populations as well as more general assessments of somatization normed with Asian-American samples. Finally, we discuss implications for practice and research so as to further develop culturally appropriate assessments and interventions with Asian-American clients.
  • somatization,
  • asian americans
Publication Date
L. T. Benuto, N. Thaler, & B. Leany
Citation Information
Cara S. Maffini and Y. J. Wong. "Assessing somatization with Asian American clients" New YorkGuide to Psychological Assessment with Asian Americans (2014)
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