Cultural issues in the psychiatric assessment of Xhosa children and adolescents
Traditional healers living in Guguletu, Cape Town, were interviewed about their practices in order to ascertain whether or not there are cultural/indigenous expressions of psychological distress or dysfunction in black children and adolescents. Besides bedwetting, fits and school anxiety, five other 'syndrOInes' were described: ukupharnbana, ukuphaphazela, arnafufunyane, urnoya and ukuthwasa. Although detailed case studies are required to establish the internal validity and exact nature of these 'syndromes', it is clear that any systematic study of psychiatric disorders in Xhosa children and adolescents needs to take them into account.
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