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Multicultural Applications of Positive Psychology Shane J. Lopez sjlopez@ku. edu University of Kansas Presented Multicultural Applications of Positive Psychology Shane J. Lopez [email protected] edu University of Kansas Presented at the 2005 Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Presentation Objectives Describe multicultural applications of positive psychology. Demonstrate how the multicultural guidelines provide Presentation Objectives Describe multicultural applications of positive psychology. Demonstrate how the multicultural guidelines provide the necessary direction for positive psychology researchers and practitioners. Assess positive psychology efforts at culture sensitive research and practice. Recommend multicultural applications of positive psychology that would benefit all people.

Backstory My grandfather was known in our little part of town for having healing Backstory My grandfather was known in our little part of town for having healing powers. When little kids played outside too long and got sunburned, or working men and women could not shake the headache and fatigue that came from working a ten- to twelve-hour day in Louisiana heat, they came to my pop-pop’s house for some “treatment. ” He would sit very close to them, place his hands gently on their heads, bow slowly, and pray. These“treatments” for sunburn and sunstroke worked every time. Pop-pop has had this gift all of his life; he still shares it today. As a young boy I was riveted to the scene of my grandfather healing the suffering. As a psychologist, I grew to understand that all suffering and all flourishing, and the myths that help us move from one psychological state to the next, are culturally based. Now, as a positive psychologist, I am committed to highlighting how culture centered research, practice, and training will help us discover what is good in the lives of the people who ask for our help.

Influences United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). Mental health: Culture, race Influences United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). Mental health: Culture, race and ethnicity, supplement to Mental health: Report of the surgeon general. Rockville, MD: Author. American Psychological Association (2003). Guidelines on multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists. American Psychologist, 58, 377 -402. Ivey, A. E. , & Mio, J. S. (2005). The multicultural view and positive psychology. Naming and Nurturing: An ENewsletter of Division 17’s Section on Positive Psychology, 5 -7.

Multicultural Guidelines Multicultural Guideline 1. Psychologists are encouraged to recognize that, as cultural beings, Multicultural Guidelines Multicultural Guideline 1. Psychologists are encouraged to recognize that, as cultural beings, they may hold attitudes and beliefs that can detrimentally influence their perceptions and interactions with individuals who are ethnically and racially different from themselves. Multicultural Guideline 2: Psychologists are encouraged to recognize the importance of multicultural sensitivity/responsiveness to, knowledge of, and understanding about ethnically and racially different individuals. Multicultural Guideline 3: As educators, psychologists are encouraged to employ the constructs of multiculturalism and diversity in psychological education. Multicultural Guideline 4: Culturally sensitive psychological researchers are encouraged to recognize the importance of conducting culture-centered and ethical psychological research among persons from ethnic, linguistic, and racial minority backgrounds. Multicultural Guideline 5: Psychologists are encouraged to apply culturally appropriate skills in clinical and other applied psychological practices. Multicultural Guideline 6: Psychologists are encouraged to use organizational change processes to support culturally informed organizational (policy) development and practice. Commitment to Cultural Awareness and Knowledge of Self and Others – Guidelines #1 and #2, Education – Guideline #3, Research – Guideline #4, Practice – Guideline #5, Organizational Change and Policy Development – Guideline #6

Multicultural Guideline 1. Psychologists are encouraged to recognize that, as cultural beings, they may Multicultural Guideline 1. Psychologists are encouraged to recognize that, as cultural beings, they may hold attitudes and beliefs that can detrimentally influence their perceptions and interactions with individuals who are ethnically and racially different from themselves. Since 1998, the debate about cultural influences on positive psychology research and practice has been conducted formally at conventions and informally on positive psychology listservs and in classrooms. Most professionals probably hold a somewhat nuanced position that allows them to have confidence in the objectivity of their methods, and at the same time to acknowledge the need to make sense of the amazing diversity in human beings. Some professionals adopt more extreme positions. That is to say, there are those who hold that positive psychology IS culture-free and IS NOT culturally embedded. Or, positive psychology IS culturally embedded and IS NOT culture-free and defend them with great vigor. Having observed many of these debates, and having participated in a few, I believe that there are three main issues about which these two camps are arguing: (1) the effects of a professional’s cultural values on research and practice: (2) the universality of human strengths; and, (3) the universality of the pursuit of happiness. Table 1 presents these two extreme positions.

Table 1 Culture-Free and Culturally Embedded Positions in Positive Psychology -------------------------------------------------------Culture-Free Issue Culturally Embedded Table 1 Culture-Free and Culturally Embedded Positions in Positive Psychology -------------------------------------------------------Culture-Free Issue Culturally Embedded -------------------------------------------------------NO Cultural values of the researcher and practitioner affect their daily work. YES There are numerous human strengths valued universally. NO YES The pursuit of happiness is common across all cultures. NO --------------------------------------------------------

Multicultural Guideline 2: Psychologists are encouraged to recognize the importance of multicultural sensitivity/ responsiveness Multicultural Guideline 2: Psychologists are encouraged to recognize the importance of multicultural sensitivity/ responsiveness to, knowledge of, and understanding about ethnically and racially different individuals. A Rubric for Examining Cultural Appropriateness of Positive Programming Cultural Context A rich picture of the target community’s cultural context is developed through the researchers’ direct contact with members of the community and the fostering of trusting relationships among researchers and all community stakeholders. The depth of this understanding of the community is demonstrated in the text of the program protocol, the research plan and the published manuscript. A sketchy picture of the target community’s cultural context is developed through the researchers’ review of the literature and limited contact with community stakeholders. Stakeholders’ commitment to the work of the positive psychology research is not assured. Some detail about the cultural context is shared in the research plan or published manuscript. Research information and description of the cultural context of the community are quite limited. 2 1 0

Multicultural Guideline 3: As educators, psychologists are encouraged to employ the constructs of multiculturalism Multicultural Guideline 3: As educators, psychologists are encouraged to employ the constructs of multiculturalism and diversity in psychological education. Pedrotti’s Five Strategies for Infusing Multiculturalism into an Undergraduate Positive Psychology Course 1. Emphasize cultural context from the beginning of the course. “I discuss the importance of cultural context on the first day of class to emphasize that this is a primary component of our study. ” 2. Challenge students to read critically for ethnocentrism. “After discussing the importance of a multicultural perspective, I present my students with a challenge: to read critically to determine the extent to which a theory comes from an ethnocentric view. ” 3. Present studies and theories from the growing body of literature that does incorporate multiculturalism. “Though there is still much work to be done, researchers are beginning to look at strengths from within a cultural context. Chang (2001), for example, provides an excellent look at optimism from both a western and easternoriented point of view. As Chang illustrates, optimism is linked to more negative outcomes in the Chinese individuals in his studies and is therefore not an inherently positive construct in all cultures. ”

Multicultural Guideline 3: As educators, psychologists are encouraged to employ the constructs of multiculturalism Multicultural Guideline 3: As educators, psychologists are encouraged to employ the constructs of multiculturalism and diversity in psychological education. Pedrotti’s Five Strategies for Infusing Multiculturalism into an Undergraduate Positive Psychology Course 4. Discuss culturally-relevant strengths. “Helping students to recognize that strengths can come from groups other than the majority culture allows them to be more culturally sensitive in their practice and research. ” 5. Explain culture as a multifaceted concept. “Though race and ethnicity are important and core facets of discussions of multiculturalism, I try to help my students to understand other cultural factors as well. I encourage them to think about theories, interventions, and ideas from the point of view of someone who is unlike them – someone from a different socioeconomic status, for example, or of a different gender. ” Pedrotti, J. T. (2005). Five Strategies for Infusing Multiculturalism into our Undergraduate Positive Psychology Course. Naming and Nurturing: An ENewsletter of Division 17’s Section on Positive Psychology, 8.

Multicultural Guideline 4: Culturally sensitive psychological researchers are encouraged to recognize the importance of Multicultural Guideline 4: Culturally sensitive psychological researchers are encouraged to recognize the importance of conducting culture-centered and ethical psychological research among persons from ethnic, linguistic, and racial minority backgrounds. Toward Indigenous Positive Psychology? In Sandage, Hill, and Vang’s examination of the forgiveness process of Hmong Americans, they discovered that Hmong forgiveness: (1) focuses on the restoration of respect and relational repair; (2) has a spiritual component; and (3) is facilitated by a third-party. While other conceptualizations of forgiveness emphasize relationship repair, the spiritual components and need for third-party facilitation are somewhat unique to the Hmong. Sandage, S. , Hill, P. C, & Vang, H. C. (2003). Toward a multicultural positive psychology: Indigenous forgiveness and Hmong culture. The Counseling Psychologist, 31, 564 -592.

Multicultural Guideline 5: Psychologists are encouraged to apply culturally appropriate skills in clinical and Multicultural Guideline 5: Psychologists are encouraged to apply culturally appropriate skills in clinical and other applied psychological practices. Allio’s Culture-Sensitive Strengths Mentoring Jessica Allio of the University of Kansas modified a 3 -session strengths mentoring protocol to promote ethnic pride, collective selfesteem, and academic achievement in college freshmen. Gallup’s Strengths Project with Thurgood Marshall Schools Jim Clifton and The Gallup Organization are collaborating with historically black colleges and universities in an effort to identify strengths and enhance hope, self-efficacy, engagement, academic achievement, and retention in students.

Multicultural Guideline 6: Psychologists are encouraged to use organizational change processes to support culturally Multicultural Guideline 6: Psychologists are encouraged to use organizational change processes to support culturally informed organizational (policy) development and practice. Baylor’s Campus-wide Efforts Baylor students, faculty, and staff are committed to the identification and promotion of strengths in all people. Discovery Television’s Nationwide Efforts Paz the “Positive Psychology Penguin” promotes hope, optimism, and resilience through 7 -minute television segments. The advisors and writers for the show make a concerted effort to account for the role of culture in the development of positive characteristics.

How are we doing? A, B, C, D, or F Commitment to Cultural Awareness How are we doing? A, B, C, D, or F Commitment to Cultural Awareness and Knowledge of Self and Others – Guidelines #1 and #2 -- C Education – Guideline #3 -- C Research – Guideline #4 -- C Practice – Guideline #5 -- B Organizational Change and Policy Development – Guideline #6 -- D

Summary and Recommendations Summary and Recommendations