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Epidemiology of Mental Disorders

  1. Ronald C. Kessler1,
  2. Philip S. Wang2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0313

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Kessler, R. C. and Wang, P. S. 2010. Epidemiology of Mental Disorders. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Harvard Medical School

  2. 2

    National Institute of Mental Health Care Policy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The word epidemiology is derived from the Greek words epidemos, meaning “among the people.” Epidemiology is the branch of public health concerned with understanding and controlling disease in the population by investigating correlates of illness that might provide clues about disease-causing agents (Susser, 1973). Because the ultimate goals of epidemiological research are to understand the causes of disease and to prevent disease occurrence, epidemiology is the backbone of public health.


  • psychiatric epidemiology;
  • mental disorder prevalence;
  • mental disorder risk factors