The correspondence of health complaints and depressive symptoms among Anglos and Mexican-Americans

J Nerv Ment Dis. 1986 Apr;174(4):221-8. doi: 10.1097/00005053-198604000-00005.


This study examines the relationship between depressive symptoms and somatic complaints and/or disorders in two ethnic groups. Data reported herein are from an epidemiological field survey of a disproportionate stratified sample of Anglos (N = 637) and two Mexican-American subsamples, United States-born (N = 342) and Mexican-born (N = 201), all living in Santa Clara County, California. The covariation between depressive symptoms and a severity of somatic complaints/disorders scale derived from collapsing International Classification of Diseases categories was compared among the three ethnic subsamples with control on age, sex, education, and marital status. A significant, direct linear correlation was found between depressive symptomatology and severity of somatic complaints/disorders for each ethnic group and was found in multivariate analyses not to change significantly with the introduction of controls. Partial correlations pointed to a stronger association for Mexican-Americans than for Anglos.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Age Factors
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Educational Status
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Health*
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Sex Factors
  • United States