Cross-Cultural Research

Cross-Cultural Research

Jorge Delva, Paula Allen-Meares, and Sandra L. Momper

Print publication date: 2010

ISBN: 9780195382501

Publisher: Oxford University Press


The purpose of the book is to provide researchers with a framework to conduct research in a culturally sensitive manner with individuals, families, and communities in diverse cultural settings in the United States, as well as in a global context within the context of three aims: (1) To understand and describe the nature and extent to which a particular problem occurs; (2) To understand the etiology or potential factors associated with the occurrence of a particular problem; (3) To evaluate programs or interventions designed to ameliorate or eliminate a problem. For each of these three aims, applications of different research methods with various population groups are discussed with considerable detail. The work presented falls into different sides of the emic–etic continuum, with some studies taking a more emic perspective (i.e., Chapter 2, a mixed methods study with American Indian populations), others presenting more of an etic approach (i.e., Chapter 3, a multicountry study of drug use in Central America), and yet others presenting an emic–etic distinction that is less salient (i.e., Chapters 4–6, a longitudinal studies of ecological factors and drug use in Santiago, Chile; a longitudinal study of ecological factors and PTSD in the City of Detroit; and a randomized clinical trial and community-based participatory research project both also conducted in Detroit). Two central themes that guided this work are that culture is not static, rather it is fluid and changing, and that cross-cultural researchers should avoid making sweeping generalizations that risk taking on essentialist characteristics. The book concludes with a call for anyone conducting cross-cultural research to include an intersectionality lens, one that encompasses a broader range of multiple identities, into their work.