Psychological Medicine

Original Article

Racism, psychosis and common mental disorder among ethnic minority groups in England

a1 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London
a2 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London
a3 Centre for Psychiatry, Barts & The London School of Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London
a4 Division of Health in the Community, Warwick Medical School (LWMS), University of Warwick, UK

Article author query
karlsen s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
nazroo jy   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mckenzie k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
bhui k   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
weich s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Background. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between risk of psychosis, common mental disorder (CMD) and indicators of racism among ethnic minority groups in England and how this relationship may vary by particular ethnic groups.

Method. A multivariate analysis was carried out of quantitative, cross-sectional data from a nationally representative community sample of people aged between 16 and 74 years from the largest ethnic minority groups in England: those of Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Irish origin.

Results. Experience of interpersonal racism and perceiving racism in the wider society each have independent effects on the risk of CMD and psychosis, after controlling for the effects of gender, age and socio-economic status. There was some variation in the findings when they were conducted for separate ethnic and gender groups.

Conclusions. An understanding of the relationship between racism and mental health may go some way towards explaining the ethnic variations found in both CMD and, particularly, psychosis.

(Published Online September 29 2005)

c1 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1–19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK. (Email: