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Article
February 1981

Comparison of Samoans in Samoa and California

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry University of California at Los Angeles 760 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90024
Samoan Community College PO Box 2609 Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799
Department of Psychiatry University of California at Los Angeles 760 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90024
Asian/Pacific Counseling and Treatment Center Suite 510 3407 W Sixth St Los Angeles, CA 90020

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(2):231. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780270117017
Abstract

To the Editor.—  Margaret Mead studied a group of teenaged Samoan girls and concluded that the Samoan lifestyle included early knowledge about sexual behavior, acceptance of masturbatory activity from the age of 5 or 6 years, and complete knowledge about bodily functions and left little possibility for neurotic problems.1

Method.—  We previously studied 100 Samoans in California with the SCL-90R,2 a self-completed 90-item symptom checklist, and scored the following items: (1) somatization, (2) obsessive-compulsive, (3) anxiety, (4) interpersonal sensitivity, (5) depression, (6) hostility, (7) phobic anxiety; (8) paranoid ideation, and (9) psychoticism. There are three general scales, as follows: the Global Severity Index, the Positive Symptom Distress Index, and the Positive Symptom Total.Compared with the scores of 1,000 normal Americans3. 4 the Samoans scored significantly higher on each and every scale. Fifty-seven percent of the males and 48% of the females had scores on one or

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