Psychiatric and substance use disorders in a predominately low-income, black sample in early midlife

Christina F. Mondi, Alison Giovanelli, Suh Ruu Ou, Arthur J. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Decades of research have documented elevated rates of psychopathology among individuals affected by poverty. However, many studies have relied on predominately White samples, and on brief symptom screening measures which may not fully capture the experiences of individuals of color (who are disproportionately affected by poverty in the United States.) The present study examines prevalence rates of probable major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorder, and alcohol use disorder in a predominately Black sample that grew up in urban poverty, utilizing structured neuropsychiatric interview methods. Data are drawn from a subsample of the Chicago Longitudinal Study (CLS), which has followed a large cohort for over four decades. Outcomes were assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) 7.0.2. Results indicate high probable rates of all measured outcomes, with notably high rates of substance use and alcohol use disorder compared to rates reported in previous national studies. Differences by sex and childhood neighborhood poverty, as well as significant comorbidity among psychiatric, substance and alcohol use disorders were also detected. Findings underscore an urgent need for community-based, culturally tailored prevention and intervention initiatives to support the mental health of individuals living in poverty. The high prevalence of psychiatric, substance and alcohol use disorders in this study likely reflect systematic inequities faced by low-income people of color in the United States. Future directions for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-339
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection was supported by a grant from The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD; grant R01HD034294). NICHD was not involved in data collection or analysis, or interpretation, or in the writing or submission of this report.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Alcohol use
  • Black
  • Poverty
  • Psychopathology
  • Substance use


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