The problem of metaphorical nonequivalence in cross-cultural survey research: Comparing the Mental Health Statuses of Hmong Refugee and General Population Adolescents

Timothy Dunnigan, Miles McNall, Jeylan T Mortimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

The use of questionnaire data to compare the mental health of Hmong refugee and general population high school students demonstrates the difficulty of translating between investigator and subject lexicons and, consequently, of equating the conceptual systems they signify. Whether particular psychosocial variables that are standardized for a general population can be used to study the adjustment of linguistically unassimilated ethnic minorities depends on the nature of the semantic discontinuities that exist between the source and target languages. Metaphorical nonequivalence significantly affected the responses of a subset of Hmong subjects to English survey items.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-365
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1993

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