Latinos, principally Puerto Rican, and Euro-American psychiatric outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia or major depression were compared on their responses to the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). The internal consistency reliability of the BSI dimensions and factor structures were comparable in the two cultural groups. Puerto Rican respondents scored significantly higher than Euro-Americans on the Global Severity Index, an index of distress, as well as on several subscales of the instrument. Multiple regression analysis suggested differences in expression of symptoms between Latinos and Euro-Americans only for obsessive compulsive and anxiety symptoms once general severity of symptom expression was controlled. Differences in symptom expression on the BSI associated with ethnicity were greater than those associated with diagnosis.
1 Department of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7123. Send reprint requests to Dr. Strauss.
2 Department of Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University.
This study is based on a dissertation submitted by V. Coelho under the direction of M. Strauss and J. Jenkins. We thank Dr. Daniel Weinberger for his helpful suggestions for data analysis. This research was supported in part by NIMH grant MH47920 (J. H. Jenkins, Principal Investigator) and a fellowship from the Brazilian government (CNPq) to Vera Coelho.