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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 45 (2003) 6, 315 - 326

New research

Explanations for differences in psychiatric disorders in a study among migrants

A.M. Kamperman, I.H. Komproe, J.T.V.M. de Jong

background  The mental health status of different migrant groups in the Netherlands is not the same. The origins of these differences are unclear.
  This article examines if there are differences in psychiatric disorder between Turkish, Moroccan and Surinamese respondents in an Amsterdam mental health study. Subsequently it was examined which of the known factors related to mental health can account for these mental health differences.
  The study surveyed population-based samples of Turkish (n=648), Moroccan (n=102) and Surinamese (n=311) inhabitants of Amsterdam. The data are analysed by means of multivariate (hierarchical) logistic regression analyses.
  The occurrence of psychiatric disorder differs among the three ethnic groups studied. These group differences could mainly be explained by source of income, level of acculturation, length of stay in the Netherlands, active coping behaviour and the presence of a chronic somatic disorder. conclusion  The results of this study show the influence of migrant-specific factors should be put in perspective, since general factors like social economic status, co-morbidity and coping strategies also play a important part in the presence of a psychiatric disorder. In respect of the mental health care for migrants this should be more emphasized.


keywords ethnicity, migrants, health differences, psychiatric disorder