Mental health service utilization for psychiatric disorders among Latinos living in the United States: The role of ethnic subgroup, ethnic identity, and language/social preferences

New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive #123, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Social Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.54). 02/2011; 47(3):383-94. DOI: 10.1007/s00127-010-0323-y
Source: PubMed


To examine aspects of Latino experience in the US as predicting service utilization for mood, anxiety, and substance disorders.
Latino participants 18 and older in the NESARC (N = 6,359), a US national face to face survey. Outcomes were lifetime service utilization for DSM-IV lifetime mood/anxiety or substance disorders, diagnosed via structured interview (AUDADIS-IV). Main predictors were ethnic subgroup, ethnic identity, linguistic/social preferences, nativity/years in the US, and age at immigration.
Higher levels of Latino ethnic identity and Spanish language/Latino social preferences predicted lower service utilization for mood disorders [ethnic identity OR = 0.52, language/social OR = 0.44] and anxiety disorders [ethnic identity OR = 0.67, language/social OR = 0.47], controlling for ethnic subgroup, disorder severity, time spent in the US, and economic and practical barriers Service utilization for alcohol/drug disorders was low across all Latino subgroups, without variation by examined predictors.
Ethnic/cultural factors are strong determinants of service utilization for mood/anxiety, but not substance use disorders among Latinos in the US strategies to increase service utilization among Latinos with psychiatric disorders should be disorder specific, and recognize the role of ethnicity and identity as important components of a help-seeking model.

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