Anxiety and depression in a post-September 11 sample of Arabs in the USA

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2012 Mar;47(3):409-18. doi: 10.1007/s00127-011-0341-4. Epub 2011 Feb 2.


Objective: Scant research has examined the mental health of Arab Americans. This study aimed to determine the levels of anxiety and depression in a sample of Arab Americans and compare the rates to normative community samples and samples of other minority ethnic/racial groups.

Methods: A non-probability sampling approach resulted in 601 adult Arab American respondents from 35 US states. Respondents completed anxiety and depression questionnaires at a form-based Internet site.

Results: One-fourth of participants reported moderate to severe anxiety levels as measured by the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and one-half reported depression scores that met clinical caseness as assessed by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). The present sample of Arab Americans reported significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression compared to standardization samples and community samples of four other minority groups.

Conclusions: Arab Americans may be at risk for anxiety and depression. Further studies should be conducted to replicate and validate these results, identify stressors that affect this population, and develop recommendations for clinical interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / ethnology*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Middle East / ethnology
  • September 11 Terrorist Attacks / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult