There exist no national prevalence data on specific DSM-IV Axis I psychiatric disorders among foreign-born and US-born
Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites.
To present nationally representative data on the prevalence of DSM-IV lifetime psychiatric disorders among foreign-born
and US-born Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites.
Face-to-face survey conducted in the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic
Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
The United States and District of Columbia, including Alaska and Hawaii.
Household and group-quarters residents, aged 18 years and older (n = 43 093).
Main Outcome Measures
Prevalence of DSM-IV substance use disorders
and mood and anxiety disorders.
With few exceptions, foreign-born Mexican Americans and foreign-born
non-Hispanic whites were at significantly lower risk (P<.05) of DSM-IV substance use and mood
and anxiety disorders compared with their US-born counterparts. Although the
risk of specific psychiatric disorders was similar between foreign-born Mexican
Americans and foreign-born non-Hispanic whites, US-born Mexican Americans
were at significantly lower risk (P<.05) of psychiatric
morbidity than US-born non-Hispanic whites.
Data favoring foreign-born Mexican Americans with respect to mental
health may extend to foreign-born non-Hispanic whites. Future research among
foreign-born and US-born Mexican Americans and the foreign-born and US-born
of other origins and descents is needed to understand what appears to be the
protective effects of culture and the deleterious effects of acculturation
on psychiatric morbidity in the United States.