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December 24, 1960

Americans View Their Mental Health: A Nationwide Interview Survey

JAMA. 1960;174(17):2164. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030170054027

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


What makes Americans happy or unhappy? What do they do when faced with problems and to whom do they turn? This book is a thoughtful and interesting effort to probe into these questions and is easy for the layman to understand. The survey concentrated first on those who experienced problems and the causes of these problems. It was found that the young and the educated experience the most problems and that this same group most often sought psychiatric help. Marriage, children, and "the job" proved to be the sources for the greatest problems. Economic status, not the world of the hydrogen bomb, was found to be the greatest single source of worry.

The survey also asks how people resolve their problems once they are recognized. Many people pray; some go to clergymen, counselors, family doctors, or psychiatrists. The authors warn, however, that there is a growing shortage of trained psychiatric

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