The Potential Role of Applied Behavior Analysis in the Cultural Environment of Māori Mental Health
Significant mental health disparity exists in Aotearoa New Zealand between Māori and the non-Māori majority. Although much has been written about mental health and the cultural competence of health professionals, cultural context has not been specifically considered within the behavioral paradigm, and it was placed in the center of practice in multicultural societies by the behavioral community only recently. In this article, we discuss some of the problems encountered by Māori in the mental health system and the role of behavior analysts in addressing the divide in service provision. Dialogue with other disciplines that investigate the importance of indigenous cultural values is necessary. We conclude with some suggestions about strategies that may be implemented across services by behavior analysts in order to improve mental health outcomes for Māori.
KeywordsMāori Health disparities Cultural competence Cultural awareness Mental health
We thank for their cultural advice with this paper Dr. Hinemoa Elder, Professor of Indigenous Health Research Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi; and Phyllis Tangitu, General Manager, Māori Health, Lakes District Health Board. We also thank Neil Martin, BCBA-D, Director of International Development of the BACB, for his helpful comments.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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