Discrimination and common mental disorder among migrant and ethnic groups: findings from a South East London Community sample

S L. Hatch*, B. Gazard, D. R. Williams, S. Frissa, L. Goodwin, M. Hotopf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
279 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Few studies have examined discrimination and mental health in the UK, particularly by migrant status and in urban contexts with greater demographic diversity. This study aims to (1) describe the prevalence of discrimination experiences across multiple life domains; (2) to describe associations between discrimination experiences and common mental disorder (CMD); (3) to determine whether or not the relationship between discrimination and CMD varies by migrant status and ethnicity. Methods: Data on major, anticipated and everyday discrimination and CMD symptoms were collected from an ethnically diverse prospective sample of 1052 participants followed up from 2008 to 2013 in the South East London Community Health study, a population-based household survey. Results: With few exceptions, discrimination was most prevalent among those in the Black Caribbean group. However, those in the White Other ethnic group had similar or greater reporting major and anticipated discrimination to Black or mixed ethnic minority groups. The effects of discrimination on CMD were most pronounced for individuals who had recently migrated to the UK, an ethnically heterogeneous group, and for Black and Mixed ethnic minority groups in partially adjusted models. Prior CMD accounted for differences between the Mixed and White British ethnic groups, but the strength of the association for the most recent migrant group and the Black ethnic groups remained two or more times greater than the reference groups. Conclusions: The strength of the relationship suggests a need for more consideration of migration status along with ethnicity in examining the impact of discrimination on mental disorder in community and clinical samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Early online date13 Feb 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Feb 2016


  • Discrimination
  • Ethnicity
  • Mental health
  • Migration
  • UK


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