The Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES), with support from NIMH, were initiatied in recognition of the need for contempary, comprehensive epidemiological data regarding the distributions, correlates, and risk factors of mental disorders among the general population with special emphasis on minority groups. The primary objective of the CPES was to collect data about the prevalanece of mental disorders, impairments associated with these disorders, and their treatment patterns from representative samples of majority and minority adult populations in the U.S. Secondary goals were to obtain information about language use and ethnic disparities, support systems, discrimination, and assimilation, in order to examine whether and how closely various mental health disorders are linked to social and cultural issues. The data was obtained through three nationally representative surveys: the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), and the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS).
The selection of a probability sample of respondents for each study's interview required a four-step sampling process: 1) a primary stage sampling of U. S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and counties; 2) a second stage sampling of area segments; 3) a sampling of housing units within the area segments; 4) random selection of eligible respondents from the housing units. Adults aged 18 and older were available for the surveys some also had restrictions by race/ethnicity.