Although the phenomenon of psychosis in schizophrenia has been extensively studied, limited attention has been paid to the relationship of ethnicity/culture and the form and quality of psychotic symptoms. It is widely assumed that culture significantly influences the phenomenology of mental illness. Psychotic experiences, such as delusions and hallucinations, are likely no exception. There is a relatively small body of literature on cross-cultural differences in delusional symptoms that has yielded mixed findings. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the literature by examining potential differences in delusional symptoms among 2 cultural groups of schizophrenia patients: individuals of Latino and White European descent living in the United States. This study utilized archival participant data that were collected at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as part of the Consortium for Neuropsychiatric Phenomics via the Human Translational Applications Core. 58 schizophrenia patients of Latino and White European descent completed a demographics interview assessing various ethno-cultural characteristics, the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Axis I Disorders - Patient Edition to determine diagnostic eligibility, and The Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms, a clinical rating scale from which information regarding the content and severity of delusional symptoms was derived. Analyses revealed no statistically significant differences in delusional symptom content and severity between Latino and White European patients with schizophrenia. Strategies to improve methodology and refine conceptualization of cultural factors and psychotic phenomena for future research are highlighted. Clinical implications for the integration of a foundational framework of culture within diagnostic formulation, case conceptualization, and treatment planning are discussed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Schizophrenia -- Physiological aspects; Delusions -- Social aspects

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Woo, Stephanie;