Effects of time in the United States and Indian ethnicity on DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders among Mexican Americans in California

Ethel Alderete, William A. Vega, Bohdan Kolody, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study examines the effects of time in the United States and Indian ethnicity on prevalence of 12 DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders among Mexican Americans in California. In Fresno county, primarily an agricultural area, 3012 participants of Mexican origin (18 to 59 years) were selected under a cluster sampling design and interviewed using a version of the World Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Instrument (WHO-CIDI). Lifetime prevalence of any psychiatric disorder was 46.4% for Indians and 32.9% for non-Indians. Alcohol dependence was the most prevalent disorder (Indians = 17.4%, non-Indians = 10.7%). Indians had significantly higher risk of affective disorders (adjusted OR = 2.9) and drug abuse/dependence (adjusted OR = 2.6) compared with non-Indians. Time in the United States was associated with higher risk of lifetime affective disorders and drug abuse/dependence. This effect was more pronounced among Indians. Mexican immigrants are ethnically heterogenous and Indians appear to be more vulnerable to negative effects of exposure to U.S. society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-100
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume188
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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