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Schizophr Res. 2013 Oct;150(1):223-8. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2013.07.040. Epub 2013 Aug 7.

Acculturative stress and psychotic-like experiences among Asian and Latino immigrants to the United States.

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  • 1Columbia University School of Social Work, United States; New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, United States. Electronic address:


Previous studies have shown variation in the prevalence and incidence of psychosis across immigrant groups, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Stress related to acculturation may increase risk for psychosis among immigrant groups. In this study we examine the association between acculturative stress and psychotic-like experiences in a sample of Latino- and Asian-American immigrants to the United States in the National Latino and Asian American Study (n=2434). Acculturative stress was associated with visual and auditory hallucinations among Asians, but only with hearing voices among Latinos. Increased risk for psychotic-like experiences among Latinos was primarily associated with younger age of immigration. Acculturative stress appears to be a promising candidate mechanism explaining the relationship between immigration and psychosis, particularly among Asian Americans. Ethnic differences may reflect variability between groups that integrate more readily into the host culture and those that are subject to greater discrimination and environmental adversity.


Acculturation; Epidemiology; Migration; Psychosis; Schizophrenia

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