Search form

Ask an Advisor Answers

Hello Community tool box advisors! I want to begin by stating that the resources you provide are wonderful and moreover to provide them free of charge is much appreciated!!! I currently work in the field of behavior analysis, where we develop interventions that address adaptive living skills, social skills, employment skills etc. depending on the age demographic that we are working with. I've noticed that at times the skills we are trained to teach do not match with the cultural preferences of our client's communities, I have also noticed that staffing at times may not place cultural needs as a priority. My questions are, 1) Do you have any recommendations for testing an individuals' competence in a culture as it relates to ethnicity and socioeconomic status? 2) Do you have recommendations on how to go about identifying the norms/standards of a community's culture prior to intervention?

Thank you!!!!

Dear Onaida
thank you for your questions and for compliments addressed to our work! Our mission is just to offer answers or at least useful instruments for community psychologists.
You can find useful suggestions for both your questions, related to assessing and enhancing cultural competence in our Toolkit 9, “Enhancing Cultural Competence”, which provides also examples.
See also the whole Chapter 27, “Cultural Competence in a Multicultural World”: its eleven sections, with multifaceted topics aimed at enhancing cultural competence and build culturally competent and inclusive communities, may be really interesting for achieving your goals. See, in particular, Section 2. “Building Relationships with People from Different Cultures”. Each section indicates Online Resources and Print Resource (with appropriate references). Generally, this kind of information is related to cultural differences, anyway, we know that often the socioeconomic status is strictly linked to the dominant culture or to the minority culture or ethnic group. Anyway in the toolkit, the social class is taken into account (see f.i. the exercise on the page  I may suggest – in addition – some papers published in the American Journal of Community Psychology by Fabricio Balcazar and Yolanda Suarez Balcazar about their studies regarding cultural competence in health professionals, as Balcazar, F. E., Suarez-Balcazar, Y., & Taylor-Ritzler, T. (2009). Cultural competence: Development of a conceptual framework. Disability and rehabilitation, 31(14), 1153-1160, or Garrido, R., Garcia-Ramirez, M., & Balcazar, F. E. (2019). Moving towards Community Cultural Competence. International Journal of Intercultural Relations73, 89-101. The authors, F. Balcazar and Y. Suarez-Balcazar, are quoted also in Community Tool Box, Section 1 of Chapter 37, “Choosing Questions and Planning the Evaluation”.
Many wishes for your work, and let us know – if you want – the implementation of your projects!

Question Date: Sat, 01/18/2020