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Cultural Identity in Couples and Families

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Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Name of Theory

Cultural identity


Cultural dimensions; Diverse; Diversity; Individual and role differences; Minority; Multicultural theory (MCT); Multiculturalism


Since the colonial era, a predominately Eurocentric Western cultural lens has been imposed widely, with adverse consequences for minority* couples and families. Despite increasing diversity, treatment approaches tend to adhere to Eurocentric cultural values like rationality and individuality, resulting in misperceptions that these values are universal. Similarly, Western treatment research values internal validity provided by randomized controlled trials over external validity that focuses on whether or not findings generalize to couples and families with diverse cultural identities who remain underrepresented in studies. These narrow, rigid definitions of normalcy often do not consider collectivist and extended family values or the varied family structures, gender roles, socialization, discrimination...

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Correspondence to Shalonda Kelly .

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Kelly, S., Omar, Y. (2017). Cultural Identity in Couples and Families. In: Lebow, J., Chambers, A., Breunlin, D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer, Cham.

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