Significant racial and ethnic differences exist in the receipt of psychiatric care and help-seeking. We examined the relationship between race/ethnicity and psychological well-being and functioning in psychiatric outpatients. We analyzed intake data for 8,697 adult patients in psychiatry clinics in New England between 2008 and 2010. Patients rated psychological wellbeing using the Schwartz Outcome Scale (SOS-10); clinicians rated the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). In an analysis of variance with covariates, race/ethnicity exhibited a small but statistically significant association with GAF (F(4,8481)=17.902, p<.001) and SOS-10 scores (F(4,8165)=7.271, p<.001). However, after adjustment for physical health and socioeconomic variables, these differences became insignificant or were reversed. Our findings suggest that the relationship between race/ethnicity and mental health may be confounded by other socioeconomic or health differences and may be small compared with the effect of those variables. Future studies on race and psychological well-being should take social determinants of health into consideration.


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pp. 1418-1431
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