Posted on October 24, 2012

Ethnic Density as a Buffer for Psychotic Experiences: Findings from a National Survey

Jayati Das-Munshi et al., BJ Psych, July 26, 2012


To assess potential mechanisms underlying the observation that minority ethnic groups experience an increased risk of psychosis when living in neighbourhoods of lower own-group density.


Multilevel analysis of nationally representative community-level data (from the Ethnic Minorities Psychiatric Illness Rates in the Community survey), which included the main minority ethnic groups living in England, and a White British group. Structured instruments assessed discrimination, chronic strains and social support. The Psychosis Screening Questionnaire ascertained psychotic experiences.


For every ten percentage point reduction in own-group density, the relative odds of reporting psychotic experiences increased 1.07 times (95% CI 1.01 — 1.14, P = 0.03 (trend)) for the total minority ethnic sample. In general, people living in areas of lower own-group density experienced greater social adversity that was in turn associated with reporting psychotic experiences.


People resident in neighbourhoods of higher own-group density experience ‘buffering’ effects from the social risk factors for psychosis.

[Editor’s Note: The full study is available here.]