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Editorial: Globalization and Child and Adolescent Mental Health

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Objectives: The recent essay by Ethan Watters (2010) in the New York Times on the Americanization of mental illness with greater globalization raises many important assertions and concerns about the dissemination of Western models of mental illness throughout the world. At the same time, a there has been parallel trend towards the adoption of Western models of family structure and child rearing.

Methods: The authors review these parallel trends and reference some studies that support their inter-connection and their potential adverse consequences on the psychosocial risk factors faced by youth. They also briefly review cases that illustrate these risks. At the same time, it also presents the counterpoint that globalization may have positive aspects in crossnational collaboration and learning in addressing the mental health of youth and families. They briefly review the content of this Special Issue as examples of the benefits from such learning and cross-pollination, tempered with the necessary adaptation of such lessons to differing cultural contexts and needs.

Conclusion: Increased understanding of these trends as well as inter-national and cross-cultural collaboration will allow us to more effectively serve American youth and families as well as youth and families in diverse cultures and nations.
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Keywords: Global; culture; psychiatry; youth

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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  • Adolescent Psychiatry publishes reports of original research, critical reviews of topics relevant to practitioners, clinical observations with analysis and discussion, analysis of philosophical, ethical or social aspects of the fields of psychiatry and mental health, case reports with discussions, letters, and position papers. Adolescent Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed journal, and the official journal of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, aims to provide mental health professionals who work with adolescents with current information relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in adolescence.
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