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African Americans and Mental Health

Prevalence of Mental Illness among African Americans

Mental disorders are highly prevalent across all populations, regardless of race or ethnicity. Within the United States, overall rates of mental disorders for most minority groups are largely similar to those for Caucasians. However, ethnic and racial minorities in the United States face a social and economic environment of inequality that includes greater exposure to racism and discrimination, violence, and poverty–all of which take a toll on mental health. In some surveys, African Americans have been found to have higher levels of lifetime (or current) mental disorders than Caucasians. However, when differences in age, gender, marital status, and socioeconomic status are taken into account, the racial difference is eliminated.

In most major epidemiological surveys, the overall rates of mental illness ...

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