Cross-Cultural Aspects of Anxiety Disorders

  • Stefan G. Hofmann
  • Devon E. Hinton
Anxiety Disorders (DJ Stein, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Anxiety Disorders


A person’s cultural background influences the experience and expression of emotions. In reviewing the recent literature on cross-cultural aspects of anxiety disorders, we identified some culturally related ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology factors (the culture’s conceptualizations of how the mind and body function) and contextual factors that influence anxiety disorders. Ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology factors include the person’s ideas about the mental and bodily processes (and their interaction), whereas contextual factors are associated with the social norms and rules that may contribute to anxiety, including individualism vs. collectivism and self-construals. From the perspective of ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology and contextual factors, we will discuss “khyâl cap” (“wind attacks”), taijin kyofusho, and ataques de nervios, three prominent examples of culture-specific expressions of anxiety disorders that have all been included in the DSM-5 list of cultural concepts of distress.


Culture Anxiety disorders DSM-5 Cross culture Taijin kyofusho Ataques de nervios 



Dr. Hofmann’s work is supported by NIH grant R-1AT007257.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Stefan G. Hofmann and Devon E. Hinton declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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