Cross-cultural Differences in Preferred Forms of Address: Implications for Work with African American Adults

Wanda Lott Collins, Sharon E. Moore

Abstract


Using an individual’s last name indicates respect and contributes to positive
interaction with African American clients and adults of African descent. This
paper discusses the importance of using social titles as a proper form of address during,
and sometimes after, the initial professional relationship. Two case vignettes
will highlight potential difficulties that non-African American practitioners may
experience when using first names with African Americans within the professional
realm. The vignettes include a scenario for a supervisor and a client.

Keywords


African American; social titles; professional relationship; social work

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