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Article
October 21, 1974

The Depressed Woman: A Study of Social Relationships

Author Affiliations

University of Iowa College of Medicine Iowa City

 

by Myrna M. Weissman and Eugene S. Paykel, 289 pp, with illus, $10, The University of Chicago Press, 1974.

JAMA. 1974;230(3):479. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240030085044

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Abstract

More than any other medical speciality, psychiatry is plagued by assertions presented as scientific dogma based on insufficient or no scientific evidence. This book is a wholesome corrective. It is based on data, tests a number of hypotheses, and disproves several hoary truisms. It presents information collected in a research study of depressed women in New Haven, Conn. The study was narrowly defined but well designed. Forty women who sought treatment for acute depressive symptoms at New Haven Clinic were followed up for 20 months and periodically evaluated, using a structured interview designed to assess social adjustment as quantitatively as possible. They were compared with a control group carefully matched on many social variables.

The results of the study overturn some well-entrenched preconceived notions about the etiology and course of depression. The psychoanalytic teaching that "depression is anger turned inward" was disproved by the finding that most of the women

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