A Theoretical Framework Explaining Chinese Cultural Contributions to Psychological Disorders

  • Hongying Fan
  • Guorong Ma
  • Wei WangEmail author


From ancient to contemporary epochs in China, there are sorts of psychological disorders that are related to Chinese cultural issues, which might be due to different reasons. However, a link with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory might offer an excellent account for the relationships. We therefore have proposed a theoretical framework for the causal explanation. With evidence from literature and our own studies, we have discussed most parts of the route. Other possible parts of the route are still open to be investigated further. Chinese culture, especially the core value “harmony”, within the framework, is particularly the source of psychological disorders in late imperial and contemporary China. Chinese people might display similar structures of the psychological disorders as people in other areas, but the cultural contributions to these disorders are unique in Chinese culture. Indications mentioned in this book might contribute to the prevention and treatment of psychological disorders in China and other parts of world where Confucianism or Collectivism dominates.


Chinese culture Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory Psychological disorder Theoretical framework 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry/School of Public HealthZhejiang University College of MedicineHangzhouChina

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