Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 549–564 | Cite as

A Child Who Sees Ghosts Every Night: Manifestations of Psychosocial and Familial Stress Following Immigration

  • Lin Fang
  • Eunjung Lee
  • Frederick Y. Huang
Clinical Case Studies

Clinical History

Patient Identification

Joey (a pseudonym) is a 10-year-old boy of Chinese descent referred by his pediatrician to the mental health department of the same clinic. The health clinic is located in a metropolitan city in Northeast United States. At a recent child wellness examination, Joey’s mother Mei-Ling, informed the pediatrician that Joey had been seeing ghosts at bedtime on a daily basis for the past 2 years. His pediatrician encouraged Joey’s mother to speak to the clinic’s mental health department about her son’s condition. Upon receiving parental consent, the pediatrician referred Joey for a psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

Accompanied by his mother for the first visit, Joey wore glasses and was casually dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. His build was slender and he was shorter than boys of a similar age. Joey agreed to be seen alone by the therapist. He spoke fluent English and conversational Mandarin. Joey is soft spoken, and his speech and thought...


Mental Health Mental Health Service Mental Health Professional Mental Health Issue Adjustment Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to acknowledge Charles B. Wang Community Health Center for its dedication to promoting mental health in Asian American communities. The authors would also like to express their sincere gratitude to Ms. Carolyn Mak for her careful read of the first manuscript draft, and to the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social WorkUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.San FranciscoUSA

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