Odegaard's selection hypothesis revisited: Schizophrenia in Surinamese immigrants to the Netherlands

JP Selten*, E Cantor-Graae, J Slaets, RS Kahn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. The incidence of schizophrenia among Surinamese immigrants to the Netherlands is high. The authors tested Odegaard's hypothesis that this phenomenon is explained by selective migration.

Method: The authors imagined that migration from Surinam to the Netherlands subsumed the entire population of Surinam and not solely individuals at risk for schizophrenia, They compared the risk of a first admission to a Dutch mental hospital for schizophrenia from 1983 to 1992 for Surinamese-born immigrants to the risk for Dutch-born individuals, using the Surinamese-born population in the Netherlands and the population of Surinam combined as the denominator for the immigrants.

Results: The age- and sex-adjusted relative risk of schizophrenia for the Surinamese-born immigrants was 1.46.

Conclusions: Selective migration cannot solely explain the higher incidence of schizophrenia in Surinamese immigrants to the Netherlands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-671
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2002
Event8th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research - , Canada
Duration: 28-Apr-20012-May-2001

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