SINCE 1970, more than 5 million Mexicans have immigrated to the United States, the largest number of immigrants from one country to the United States in recent history. People of Mexican descent now make up almost one third of the total population of Texas and California.1
The study by Vega et al reported in this issue of the ARCHIVES is an important and timely piece, coming when Mexican immigrants in California are the target of adverse societal attitudes and governmental policies affecting benefits, university access, and bilingualism. Paradoxically, the study shows that despite socioeconomic disadvantages, Mexican immigrants have a much better mental health profile than people of Mexican descent born in the United States. Carried out on a specific population in northern California, the study was elegantly designed and employed state-of-the-art methods and instrumental measures that were further refined during the study. The study's major finding, that place of birth had a more profound influence on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders than traditional demographic risk factors such as age, sex, or socioeconomic status, is intriguing. According to these data, for virtually each disorder studied, Mexican immigrants had about half the prevalence rate of people of Mexican descent born in the United States. The study illustrates the importance of cross-cultural research in advancing our knowledge of risk and protective factors for mental disorders and reminds us that the study of the mental disorders of specific ethnic groups can generate hypotheses that apply to general psychiatry. Also, the relevance of international collaboration in psychiatric research is shown by the successful use of the Mexico City sample to help interpret the results of the study.
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Psychiatry editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 79
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.