Cultural Competency and Haitian Immigrants


Family Roles and Organization ... page 3

Purnell's Model

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Family roles & organization
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Workforce issues

Biocultural ecology

High-risk behaviors

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Death rituals

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Health care practices
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Health care practitioners




Prescriptive, Restrictive and Taboo behaviors for children and adolescents.

  • In Haitian culture, obesity is a sign of health.41, 43
  • Purgatives are commonly used in infants to "clean the blood." 41, 44

  • Toilet training, independent feeding, and dressing are expected later than in American culture. In fact many Haitian children would be labeled "delayed" by Denver Developmental testing.45 

  • In contrast, Haitian children are encouraged to be independent and self-reliant from an earlier  age than American children.40, 45

  • Haitian children are socialized to know they must be obedient, quiet, and subordinate to their parents.4, 29, 30, 40  

  • Education is valued and children are supposed to be high achievers. 29, 30

  • Lack of discipline and respect for authority are taboo.4  

  • Discussion of sex is to be with parents or family only.46










Family Roles and Organization:

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