LMSW Exam Prep: What is Xenophobia?

By Emily Pellegrino on December 13, 2012


We are starting to get slim pickings for the blog terms this week.  As such, this week's term is xenophobia.  While it may not be at the top of the list of things to study, it still can't hurt to know it as you study for the LMSW exam. On that note, let's get started with a sample question.

Sample Question:

Which of the following BEST describes xenophobia?

A. A persistant fear of confined spaces.

B. A pattern of behavior, frequently seen in victims of spouse abuse and child abuse, in which the individual responds passively to risks of harm.

C. A dislike or fear of people from other countries or of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange.

D. A persistant fear of open spaces or crowds.

Some of the symptoms of xenophobia to know for the LMSW exam can include feelings of fear, dread, hostility, and distrust when exposed to people or cultural items that are perceived as being different. There are many different ways that xenophobia can develop. This can include one's upbringing, alienation from other cultures, or even veterans who fought in Vietnam may have developed xenophobia through PTSD. When working with individuals who deal with this it can be helpful to target the initial factor which incited fear in that individual and then work through the causes and symptoms. Some therapists have discussed the use of CBT with xenophobia which has allowed the client to face the fear head on.

The Social Work Dictionary defines xenophobia as, "Persistent, intense, and unreasonable fear of strangers or foreign people" (Barker, 2003).

Answer: It's pretty obvious by this point, but the best answer here is C. The other possible answers include (A) claustrophobia, (B) learned helplessness, and (D) agoraphobia.

Think our straightforward, sensible approach could help you PASS your LMSW exam? If you're preparing for the social work exam, check out our LMSW Study Materials. Learn more about our exam prep at the The Therapist Development Center home page.

Looking for more practice questions and some study tips? Check out our new Social Work Exam Study Guide:

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