There are several large groups of Hispanics in the United States, including those with different historical experiences regarding immigration. Historically, Hispanics and particularly Mexican Americans have been underrepresented in inpatient and outpatient populations (Roberts, 1981), a trend that has persisted through the last decade (Swanson, Holzer, & Ganju, 1993). Population-based studies of psychological symptoms have provided a mixed picture. Quesada, Spears, and Ramos (1978) showed lower Zung depression scores for Mexican Americans (mean = 37.8) than Blacks (mean = 41.4) in the Southwest. Antunes and colleagues (1974) as well as Gaitz and Scott (1974) reported lower scores on the Langner symptom scale for Mexican Americans than for Anglos and the lowest scores for Blacks. Roberts (1980) reported lower rates of emotional or mental illness for Mexican Americans than either Anglos or Blacks. In a second study, Roberts (1980) reported that unadjusted rates were higher for Mexican Americans but lower once adjusted for age, sex, education, family income, marital status, and physical health. Vernon and Roberts (1982) reported higher rates of depression for Mexican Americans (28.9%) on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies—Depression (CES-D) scale than for Blacks (18.1%) or Anglos (14.6%). On the SADS-RDC diagnostic interview, Mexican American (9.8%) rates were higher than for Blacks (7.5%) and Anglos (5.5%). For total disorder, however, Mexican Americans (22.1%) were nearly the same as Anglos (21.0%), and Blacks (17.6%) had lower rates.
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