Mood, anxiety, and personality disorders among first and second-generation immigrants to the United States

Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Njeri Kagotho, Michael G. Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A careful examination of the multigenerational relationship between immigrant status and mental disorders can provide important information about the robustness and nature of the immigrant-mental health link. We examine immigrant status as a protective factor against mental illness, assess intergenerational effects, examine differences across race/ethnicity, and report the prevalence of mood, anxiety, and personality disorders of immigrants across major world regions. We employ data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) and compare first (n=5363) and second-generation (n=4826) immigrants from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America to native-born Americans (n=24,461) with respect to mental disorders. First-generation immigrants are significantly less likely than native-born Americans to be diagnosed with a mood, anxiety, or personality disorder, though the prevalence of mental health diagnoses increases among second generation immigrants. Similar results were observed for immigrants from major world regions as the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity was lower among immigrants from Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia compared to native-born Americans. Findings provide evidence in support of the notion that the immigrant paradox may be extended to include mood, anxiety, and personality disorders in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-1036
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume220
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 30

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Personality Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
Mood Disorders
North American Indians
Population Groups
Latin America
Mental Disorders
Mental Health
Psychiatry
Alcohols
Morbidity

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

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Mood, anxiety, and personality disorders among first and second-generation immigrants to the United States. / Salas-Wright, Christopher P.; Kagotho, Njeri; Vaughn, Michael G.

In: Psychiatry Research, Vol. 220, No. 3, 30.12.2014, p. 1028-1036.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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