Introduction: To explore ethnic differences in psychopathology, this study examined the prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders among different ethnic groups in Amsterdam and determined whether ethnic differences can be explained by socio-demographic differences.
Methods: A population-based sample of 321 Dutch, 231 Turkish, 191 Moroccan, 87 Surinamese/Antilleans was interviewed by well-trained bilingual interviewers, using the CIDI 2.1. Educational level and income were used as indicators of socio-economic status.
Results: The weighed 1-month prevalence of depressive and/or anxiety disorders was 6.6% (Dutch), 18.7% (Turkish), 9.8% (Moroccans) and 1.2 % (Surinamese/Antilleans). Among Moroccans, the prevalence of affective disorders seemed higher in men than in women, among the Turkish the opposite was observed. Ethnic differences in prevalence could not be explained by socioeconomic differences.
Conclusion: Turkish women and men and Moroccan men in Amsterdam seem to have a higher risk of current affective disorders. Ethnicity is an independent predictor of common mental disorders in the Netherlands.