Diversity & Cultural Competency

Race. Class. Gender. Sexual orientation. Sexual identity. Culture. Age. Weight. Oppression. Discrimination. White privilege.

These are not words that most of us want to hear… let alone discuss. For they are scary, emotion-provoking, and can cause a great deal of discomfort.

Yet, they are some of the most important topics in the world. For they describe the lived experiences of humans in a cultural context. They describe all of us. And they affect all of us.

To those accustomed to privilege,
equity feels like oppression.

~ Anonymous

Why is Diversity and Multicultural Awareness Important?

As the only child of an ecological feminist philosopher, issues of diversity and equality were didactically and practically integrated into all aspects of my upbringing. As a child, I traveled the world listening to my mother, Dr. Karen J. Warren (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_J._Warren), talk about the importance of feminism and environmental ethics to the global well-being of people.

Before the age of twenty, I had lived in Australia and Argentina and traveled throughout Central America, South America, Russia, Scandinavia, and Western Europe. Exposed to a diversity of cultures, I was fascinated by the ways cultural values and norms affect the psychological well-being of individuals, groups, and even entire societies.

The large majority of my work integrates multicultural factors into our understanding of mental health. In addition, having taught formal courses in Diversity and Cultural Competency, I am not a stranger to how provocative these topics are to teach or to learn. They are often the last topics people want to touch. But better understanding these topics has some massive benefits.

Not only do we learn more about ourselves and how we developed, but we become better friends, family members, team members, coworkers, and global citizens by appreciating similarities and differences in others.

I can teach you:

  • What the core multicultural factors are (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender)

  • How culture influences our personal development and lived experiences

  • Why understanding diversity matters to work- and personal-relationships

  • How to manage differences in cultural values

  • How to become more culturally competent

Cortney Warren eating disorders

For more information on Dr. Warren’s cultural work see:

*Rakhkovskaya, L.M., Warren, C.S., & Culbert, K.M. (in preparation).

Clarifying the Role of Ethnic Identity in Body Weight and Shape Concerns in African American, Asian American, and Latina American College Women.

*Schaefer, K.J., Warren, C.S., & *Rakhkovskaya, L.M. (under review).

“It’s Not About the Blubber, It’s About the Brain”: Obese Women’s Experiences in Therapy.

 *Rakhkovskaya, L. M. & Warren, C. S. (2016).

Sociocultural and identity predictors of body dissatisfaction in ethnically diverse college women. Body Image, 16, 32-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2015.10.004

*Claudat, K., White, E. K., & Warren, C. S. (2016).

Acculturative stress, self-esteem, and eating pathology in Latina and Asian American female college students. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 17, 88-100. doi:10.1002/jclp.22234

*Rakhkovskaya, L.M., & Warren C.S. (2014).

Ethnic identity and endorsement of thin-ideal media in female undergraduates. Body Image, 11, 438-445. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.07.003

Warren, C. S., & *Rios, R. M. (2013).

The relationships among acculturation, acculturative stress, endorsement of Western media, social comparison, and body image in Hispanic male college students. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 14, 192-201. doi: 10.1037/a0028505

Warren, C. S. (2012).

Body area dissatisfaction in White, Black, and Latina female college students in the United States: An examination of racially-salient appearance areas and ethnic identity. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37, 537-556. doi: 10.1080/01419870.2012.716520

*Haboush, A., Warren, C. S., & Benuto, L. (2012).

Beauty, ethnicity, and age: Does internalization of mainstream media ideals influence attitudes towards older adults? Sex Roles, 66, 668-676. doi:10.1007/s11199-011-0102-6

*LaPota, H. B., Donohue, B., Warren, C. S., & Allen, D. N. (2011).

Incorporating a healthy living curriculum within family behavior therapy: A clinical case example in a woman with a history of domestic violence, child neglect, drug abuse, and obesity. Journal of Family Violence, 26, 227-234. doi: 10.1007/s10896-011-9358-4

Warren, C. S. (2008).

The influence of awareness and internalization of Western appearance ideals on body dissatisfaction in Euro-American and Hispanic males. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 9, 257-266. doi: 10.1037/a0012472

Warren, C. S. (2006).

Incorporating multiculturalism into undergraduate psychology courses: Three simple active learning exercises. Teaching of Psychology, 33, 105-109. doi: 10.1207/s15328023top3302_5