Serious psychological distress among non-Hispanic whites in the United States: The importance of nativity status and region of birth

Florence J. Dallo, Tiffany B. Kindratt, Tracy Snell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Serious psychological distress (SPD) is an understudied health topic. When studied, estimates for minority groups are compared to that of non-Hispanic whites. Non-Hispanic whites are heterogeneous, and comprise individuals from Europe, North Africa or the Middle East. The objectives of this study are to estimate and compare the sex- and age-adjusted prevalence of SPD first by nativity status and then by region of birth (Europe, Middle East and Russia) while controlling for potential confounders. Methods: The sample consisted of 196,483 participants, 18 years of age or older in the National Health Interview Survey (2000-2010). To measure SPD, Kessler's K6 Likert scale was used. Individuals with scores greater than or equal to 13 were considered to have SPD. Results: The age- and sex- adjusted prevalence of SPD was 3 % for foreign-born non-Hispanic whites. Of this, estimates were 6 % for those from the Middle East, 3 % for Europe and 2 % for Russia (p = 0.00). In the fully adjusted multivariable model, foreign-born non-Hispanic whites from the Middle East were more likely (OR = 1.76; 95 % CI = 1.01, 3.04) to report SPD when compared to US-born non-Hispanic whites. Within the foreign-born population, non-Hispanic whites from the Middle East were more than twice as likely to report SPD (OR = 2.43; 95 % CI = 1.15, 5.14) compared to foreign-born non-Hispanic whites from Europe after controlling for confounders. Conclusions: This study's findings will help researchers understand which subgroups within non-Hispanic whites suffer most from SPD, which will facilitate tailored prevention intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1923-1930
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume48
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

Keywords

  • Middle East
  • National Health Interview Survey
  • Nativity status
  • Region of birth
  • Serious psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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