A comparison of the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in Puerto Rico with the United States and the Puerto Rican population of the United States

  • Glorisa CaninoEmail author
  • Patrick E. Shrout
  • Amanda NeMoyer
  • Doryliz Vila
  • Katyana M. Santiago
  • Pedro Garcia
  • Amarilis Quiñones
  • Vilmary Cruz
  • Margarita Alegria
Original Paper



The manuscript compares the rates of psychiatric disorder among island Puerto Ricans, the US population and US Puerto Ricans in order to examine whether social support explains differences in psychiatric disorder among these three groups.


Unadjusted and adjusted rates for sociodemographic factors and social support of main psychiatric disorders are compared among three population-based psychiatric epidemiology studies carried in Puerto Rico (PR) and the United States (US) as part of the NCS-R and NLAAS studies.


Comparison of adjusted rates showed island Puerto Ricans had similar overall rates of psychiatric disorder as those of the US, lower rates of anxiety disorders, but higher rates of substance use disorders. US Puerto Ricans had higher rates of adjusted anxiety and depression but not of overall psychiatric disorder, as compared to the island. When the rates of disorder were adjusted also for social support, the differences between these two groups disappeared.


The findings suggest that social support is a variable worthy of further exploration for explaining differences in disorder prevalence particularly among Puerto Ricans depending on where they live.


Psychiatric epidemiology Mental disorders Population samples 



Sponsored by the Mental Health and Anti-Addiction Administration of Puerto Rico, the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) under Award Number R01MD009719, and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) under Award Number T32MH019733.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glorisa Canino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Patrick E. Shrout
    • 2
  • Amanda NeMoyer
    • 3
    • 4
  • Doryliz Vila
    • 1
  • Katyana M. Santiago
    • 1
  • Pedro Garcia
    • 1
  • Amarilis Quiñones
    • 1
  • Vilmary Cruz
    • 1
  • Margarita Alegria
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Behavioral Sciences Research Institute, Medical SchoolUniversity of Puerto RicoSan JuanUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Care PolicyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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