Role of acculturation and enculturation on Chinese adults' perception of child psychological assessment models



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The Therapeutic Assessment model of child assessment (TA-C) aims to provide psychological benefits and facilitate positive changes in the children and their family. However, research on TA-C has focused almost exclusively on the experience of clients from mainstream American culture. This study investigated the cultural applicability of the TA-C model with Chinese adults residing in the United States. A convenience sample of 74 Chinese adults, ages 25-40, was recruited. Two sets of vignettes were written to simulate the experiences of each step of the TA-C and information gathering (IG) model of assessment. Each participant was randomly assigned to either the TA-C or the IG group, and completed the Perceived Experiences of Assessment Scale and My Feelings after reading each phase of the assessment (introductory, testing, child feedback, parent feedback, and overall experience) in their vignette. In addition, each participant completed the European American Values Scale of Asian Americans--Revised and the Asian American Values Scale--Multidimensional, designed to measure of acculturation and enculturation respectively. Findings indicated that after taking acculturation and enculturation into account, Chinese participants had a more positive experience with the TA-C model than the IG model. Additional analyses found that the level of acculturation and enculturation had no significant impact on how participants in the TA-C group experienced the case through their vignette, supporting the robust nature of TA-C. However, participants in the IG group did experience an impact of both acculturation and enculturation on how they experienced the case through their vignette, supporting less applicability of the IG model when high enculturation is present. In addition, the experience of being emotionally stirred up in the TA-C condition was examined and discussed, suggesting further that the TA-C model both evokes and supports emotional disequilibrium that then facilitates a positive experience by the end of the TA-C. In conclusion, this study offered promising preliminary support for TA-C as a culturally appropriate child assessment model for Chinese families in the United States and provided a more nuanced understanding about the use of the IG model with those who are highly enculturated.