Predictors of first incidence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the general population: findings from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2002 Oct;106(4):303-13. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2002.01397.x.


Objective: To investigate determinants of 12-month first incidence of DSM-III-R mood disorder (MD), anxiety disorder (AD) and substance use disorder (SUD) in the general population.

Method: Data are from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS), a prospective epidemiologic study in which a representative sample of 7076 adults aged 18-64 years were interviewed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. New cases diagnosed 12 months after baseline were compared with never diagnosed controls on sociodemographic and psychosocial variables.

Results: Multivariate, the only demographic variable associated with incidence of MD was female gender. The strongest predictors were negative life events and ongoing difficulties. High level of neuroticism was also associated. Incidence of AD was likewise predicted by female gender. Negative life events and ongoing difficulties were also significant predictors, though weaker than for MD. Incidence of SUD was more common among males, young adults, people not living with a partner and those experiencing positive life events.

Conclusion: Incident MD and AD were predicted more strongly by life events, and SUD more strongly by demographic factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Random Allocation
  • Sampling Studies