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Lifetime Prevalence of Mental Disorders among Asian Americans: Nativity, Gender, and Sociodemographic Correlates.

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      This study examines lifetime prevalence estimates of mental disorders among Asian Americans with a focus on differences by nativity, gender, and other relevant sociodemographic correlates. We analyze cross-sectional data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS), the first national epidemiological survey of Asian Americans which used a probability sample of household resident adults in the United States (N=2,095). US-born Asian Americans are more likely to experience lifetime mood disorders, substance use disorders, and any mental disorders compared to immigrants. Lifetime substance use disorders are more likely to occur among men rather than women. Nativity and gender show joint associations with different mental disorders: US-born women are at the greatest risk for any mood disorders; US-born men are at the greatest risk for any substance use disorders; and immigrant women are at the lowest risk for substance use disorders compared to all other groups. Analysis of the sociodemographic correlates reveals that the youngest immigrant women showed significantly higher rates of any mood disorder compared to other immigrant women. Additionally, among immigrant men, those with low household income are at a higher risk for mood disorders, and those who report fair/poor English proficiency have a higher prevalence of anxiety and mood disorders. This study provides documentation of prevalence differences in detailed mental health categories along salient axes of stratification among Asian Americans and provides a foundation for future research aimed at understanding the causes and correlates of mental health disparities.

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      Author and article information

      [1 ] Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.
      [2 ] Dartmouth College, Department of Sociology.
      [3 ] Ritsumeikan University, College of Social Sciences.
      [4 ] University of Washington, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education.
      Asian Am J Psychol
      Asian American journal of psychology
      Dec 1 2014
      : 5
      : 4

      nativity, Asian Americans, gender, mental disorders


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