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Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Presentations of Second-Generation Afro-Caribbeans in Britain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Robert Goodman*
Affiliation:
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London
Hilary Richards
Affiliation:
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London
*
Dr R. Goodman, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF

Abstract

Background

A clinical sample was used to investigate whether second-generation Afro-Caribbean children differed from other British-born children in their psychiatric presentation or vulnerability to risk factors.

Method

Second-generation Afro-Caribbean patients (n = 292) were compared with a predominantly white group of patients (n = 1311) who lived in the same inner-city area and attended the same child psychiatric clinic between 1973 and 1989. Data on psychiatric presentation and background factors were systematically recorded at the time of the initial clinical assessment.

Results

Afro-Caribbean patients were exposed to more socio-economic disadvantage but less family dysfunction. The ratio of emotional to conduct disorders was lower among Afro-Caribbean than among the comparison patients – an effect that was not evidently due to demographic factors or diagnostic bias. Most risk factors for emotional or conduct disorders had comparable effects on Afro-Caribbean and comparison patients. Psychotic and autistic disorders were disproportionately common among the Afro-Caribbean patients.

Conclusions

Second-generation Afro-Caribbean children differ somewhat from other British-born children in their psychiatric presentation – a difference that has persisted over the 1970s and 1980s and that deserves more investigation than it has received to date.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 The Royal College of Psychiatrists

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Footnotes

1.

We have tried to avoid discriminatory language and collective terms that are not acceptable to the relevant communities. If we have failed, we hope that readers will be able to get beyond the barrier of jarring terms by translating them into their preferred terminology.

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