"Head take you": causal attributions of mental illness in Jamaica.

Title"Head take you": causal attributions of mental illness in Jamaica.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsArthur CM, Whitley R
JournalTranscult Psychiatry
Volume52
Issue1
Pagination115-32
Date Published2015 Feb
ISSN1461-7471
Abstract

Causal attributions are a key factor in explanatory models of illness; however, little research on causal attributions of mental illness has been conducted in developing nations in the Caribbean, including Jamaica. Explanatory models of mental illness may be important in understanding illness experience and be a crucial factor in mental health service seeking and utilization. We explored causal attributions of mental illness in Jamaica by conducting 20 focus groups, including 16 community samples, 2 patient samples, and 2 samples of caregivers of patients, with a total of 159 participants. The 5 most commonly endorsed causal attributions of mental illness are discussed: (a) drug-related causes, including ganja (marijuana); (b) biological causes, such as chemical imbalance, familial transmission, and "blood"; (c) psychological causes, including stress and thinking too much; (d) social causes, such as relationship problems and job loss; and (e) spiritual or religious causes, including Obeah.

DOI10.1177/1363461514557065
Alternate JournalTranscult Psychiatry
PubMed ID25406259

McGill Logo

CIUSSS ouest montreal logo

 



  • Douglas Hospital
  • Dobell Pavillion
  • Brain imaging centre