Background: The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between risk of psychosis, common mental disorder (CMD) and indicators of racism among ethnic minority groups in England and how this relationship may vary by particular ethnic groups.
Method: A multivariate analysis was carried out of quantitative, cross-sectional data from a nationally representative community sample of people aged between 16 and 74 years from the largest ethnic minority groups in England: those of Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Irish origin.
Results: Experience of interpersonal racism and perceiving racism in the wider society each have independent effects on the risk of CMD and psychosis, after controlling for the effects of gender, age and socio-economic status. There was some variation in the findings when they were conducted for separate ethnic and gender groups.
Conclusions: An understanding of the relationship between racism and mental health may go some way towards explaining the ethnic variations found in both CMD and, particularly, psychosis.