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Books, Journals, New Media
March 13, 2002

PsychopathologyOrigins of Psychopathology: The Phylogenetic and Cultural Basis of Mental Illness

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 2002;287(10):1328-1329. doi:10.1001/jama.287.10.1328-JBK0313-3-1

Professor Horacio Fabrega, Jr, a specialist in both psychiatry and anthropology, has written a complex and comprehensive book on what evolutionary theory might contribute to our understanding of mental illness and, to a lesser extent, what mental illness might contribute to human evolution. Biopsychosocial perspectives are summarized over a time span extending back millions of years to our hominid ancestors. The book is an original contribution, but, unfortunately, the story unfolds in detail that often submerges what is interesting and novel. This reviewer, however, appreciated the many bibliographic references, which should be of use to scholars. I recommend, however, that a shorter, more readable version follow as soon as practical.

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