Self-rated mental health and race/ethnicity in the United States: Support for the epidemiological paradox

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Abstract

This paper evaluates racial/ethnic differences in self-rated mental health for adults in the United States, while controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics as well as length of stay in the country. Using data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey Cancer Control Supplement (NHIS-CCS), binomial logistic regres-sion models are fit to estimate the association between race/ethnicity and poor/fair self-reported mental health among US Adults. The size of the analytical sample was 22,844 persons. Overall prevalence of poor/fair self-rated mental health was 7.72%, with lower prevalence among Hispanics (6.93%). Non-Hispanic blacks had the highest prevalence (10.38%). After controls for socioeconomic characteristics are incorporated in the models, Hispanics were found to have a lower probability of reporting poor/fair self-rated mental health in comparison to non-Hispanic whites (OR D 0:70; 95% CI [0.55-0.90]). No difference was found for other minority groups when compared to the reference group in the final model. Contrary to global self-rated health, Hispanics were found to have a lower probability of reporting poor/fair self-rated mental health in comparison to non-Hispanic whites. No difference was found for non-Hispanic blacks when they were compared to non-Hispanic whites. Self-rated mental health is therefore one case of a self-rating of health in which evidence supporting the epidemiological paradox is found among adults in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2508
JournalPeerJ
Volume2016
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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