The Cultural and Religious Complexities of Amish-Focused Mental Health Conditions Research: Insights from an Exhaustive Narrative Review and Case Study of Counseling Controversies.

Mental Health, Religion & Culture

Anderson, Cory, and Lindsey Potts. 2023.


Research Points
  • An exhaustive literature review of Amish mental health conditions and case study of Amish counseling conflicts

  • Results about prevalence of mental health conditions (anxiety/stress, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, dementia, bereavement, body image) are mixed and limited in generalizability while debates about cultural destabilization of instrument validity remain unresolved

  • An Ohio Amish case study documents internal psychology/counseling disagreements represented in three perspectives: old Amish theology, scientific-psychological approaches, and Evangelical Protestant religious counseling

  • Competing religious claims about psychology’s validity suggest variable internal religious dynamics likely influence mental health research findings and, consequently, population-specific treatment recommendations

  • This informed launching point for future Amish mental health studies suggests the importance of pre-investigating cultural/religious contexts, developing more practitioner case reports detailing diagnostic challenges, and conducting cautious replication studies over time/place that note limitations

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