Cultural competency and achieving styles in clinical social work: A conceptual and empirical exploration

Yuhwa Eva Lu, Doman Lum, Sheying Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper attempts to build a cultural competency framework by reviewing the literature and laying a conceptual foundation for professional standards in clinical social work. It also explores the implications of cultural competency by relating some important factors to clinical decisions, alliance, and outcome in the mental health field. The pathways and directions of the relationships as well as the potential factors affecting cross-cultural clinical alliance are illuminated in a general model to guide hypothesis formulation in further research. Empirical data are presented on clinical social work practice with Asian American clients in light of a key factor in shaping cultural competency, i.e., clinicians' personal achieving styles. The findings suggest that such styles are culturally bound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2001



  • Clinical decisions
  • Clinician's personal achieving styles
  • Cross-cultural social work practice
  • Cultural competency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education

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