January 1960

Discharges from a Mental Hospital in Relation to Social Class and Other Variables

Author Affiliations

Brockton, Mass.
From the Veterans Administration Hospital.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(1):1-6. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590070003001

Introduction  Since the work of Fairs and Dunham,1 studies of ecological and social factors in relation to mental illness have yielded a number of significant findings. Hollingshead and Redlich,2 in an intensive study of the New Haven community, found that prevalence of mental disorders serious enough to require psychiatric treatment was not equal among different social classes. Furthermore, the occurrence of specific types of psychiatric disorders was found to be linked to social class position, as was the type of treatment employed in dealing with emotional disturbance. Their findings suggested that social class differences may influence the therapist’s attitude toward his patient, and possibly the outcome of hospitalization. Other studies3-5 have attempted to assess the relationship of various social variables to probability of discharge from the mental hospital.The present study sought to extend these findings by investigating the relation of certain background

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