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Cultural Competence and Health Care: Module 5. Continuing Education for Health Service Providers in Psychology
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The rapid growth of the non-White population in Massachusetts during the last decade mirrors that of the U.S. population with racial/ ethnic minorities in 1995 making up 27% of the total population. 40% of the US population will be immigrants or first generation Americans by the year 2000. Estimates predict that racial/ethnic minorities in the U.S. will make up 48% of the total population by 2050; 14.4% will be Black, 22.5% Hispanic, 9.7% Asian American, 0.9% American Indian, and 52.5% White (1). This does not include new migrations from Europe. For current census information, go to

The growing diversity of the U.S. population is reflected also in the heterogeneity within racial/ ethnic minority groups. Blacks include African Americans, Haitian, Creole, and other Caribbean groups while Hispanic or Latino Americans include individuals from South America, Central America, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other similiar countries. Asian Americans include over 40 groups with the most common in Massachusetts being Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Korean, Filipino, Japanese, and Indian. Native Americans include 365 tribes. Each of the racial/ethnic groups has emphasized the significant heterogeneity within groups (2) with respect to population demographics and health risk factors.

Each racial/ethnic group has sought to eliminate the adverse effects of racism and stereotypes while supporting the importance of attending to unique group differences. The prevalence of negative stereotypes for Black and Hispanic groups while the adverse effects of the healthy model minority myth for Asian groups have resulted in discriminatory practices in service delivery and resource allocation. Yet, it is clear that the sociopolitical context of poverty, racism, immigration, and culture has had a significant bearing on health status, health care utilization, and access to care for all racial/ethnic groups.
Reston, VA
Reston, VA: National Center for Cultural Healing, 2003.
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