Lifetime prevalence of and risk factors for psychiatric disorders among Mexican migrant farmworkers in California

Am J Public Health. 2000 Apr;90(4):608-14. doi: 10.2105/ajph.90.4.608.

Abstract

Objectives: In this study, the prevalence of and risk factors for 12 psychiatric disorders were examined by sex and ethnicity (Indian vs non-Indian) among Mexican migrant farm-workers working in Fresno County, California.

Methods: Subjects aged 18 through 59 years were selected under a cluster sampling design (n = 1001). A modified version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used for case ascertainment. The effects of sociodemographic and acculturation factors on lifetime psychiatric disorders were tested.

Results: Lifetime rates of any psychiatric disorder were as follows: men, 26.7% (SE = 1.9); women, 16.8% (SE = 1.7); Indians, 26.0% (SE = 4.5); non-Indians, 20.1% (SE = 1.3). Total lifetime rates were as follows: affective disorders, 5.7%; anxiety disorders, 12.5%; any substance abuse or dependence, 8.7%; antisocial personality, 0.2%. Lifetime prevalence of any psychiatric disorder was lower for migrants than for Mexican Americans and for the US population as a whole. High acculturation and primary US residence increased the likelihood of lifetime psychiatric disorders.

Conclusions: The results underscore the risk posed by cultural adjustment problems, the potential for progressive deterioration of this population's mental health, and the need for culturally appropriate mental health services.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / diagnosis
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / ethnology*
  • California / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology*
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transients and Migrants / statistics & numerical data*