Russians in treatment: The evidence base supporting cultural adaptations.
Despite large waves of westward migration, little is known about how to adapt services to assist Russian-speaking immigrants. In an attempt to bridge the scientist-practitioner gap, the current review synthesizes diverse literatures regarding what is known about immigrants from the Former Soviet Union.
Relevant empirical studies and reviews from cross-cultural and cultural psychology, sociology, psychiatric epidemiology, mental health, management, linguistics, history, and anthropology literature were synthesized into three broad topics: culture of origin issues, common psychosocial challenges, and clinical recommendations.
Russian speakers probably differ in their form of collectivism, gender relations, emotion norms, social support, and parenting styles from what many clinicians are familiar with and exhibit an apparent paradoxical mix of modern and traditional values. While some immigrant groups from the Former Soviet Union are adjusting well, others have shown elevated levels of depression, somatization, and alcoholism, which can inform cultural adaptations.
Testable assessment and therapy adaptations for Russians were outlined based on integrating clinical and cultural psychology perspectives.