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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2006 Nov;45(11):1329-37.

Prevalence of youth-reported DSM-IV psychiatric disorders among African, European, and Mexican American adolescents.

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  • 1Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston 77030, USA.



The authors present prevalence data for adolescents in a large metropolitan area and examine the association of DSM-IV diagnoses with functional impairment and selected demographic correlates among European Americans (EA), African Americans (AA), and Mexican (MA) Americans.


The authors sampled 4,175 youths ages 11 to 17 years whose households were enrolled in large health maintenance organizations. Data were collected using questionnaires, the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-IV and the Children's Global Assessment Scale. The data were collected in the Houston Metropolitan area in 1998-2000. Data on psychiatric disorders were derived from interviews with youths only.


AA had a lower prevalence of mood disorders, substance use disorders, and any disorders adjusted for Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-IV impairment or Children's Global Assessment Scale score than did others. EA had greatest prevalence of substance use disorders, whereas AA were lowest. After adjusting for covariates, EA had a higher risk for some disorders than AA. Effects of gender, age, parent education, family income, and marital status were not consistent across groups. Family income was protective only for EA.


There appear to be few systematic differences between majority and minority adolescents at risk for psychiatric disorders. MA are not at increased risk contrasted to EA. AA had lower risk for some disorders, but adjusting for impairment and covariates eliminated most differences. Thus, multivariate analyses support the hypothesis that initial ethnic differences appear to be a function of factors associated with disadvantaged minority status rather than to distinctive ethnic culture. A noteworthy finding was that disadvantaged social status did not appear to increase the risk for disorders among minority youths.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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