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This large-scale interdisciplinary study is concerned with several orders of problems. First, it seeks to assess the prevalence of mental illness in a highly urbanized community. Second, it considers the relationship between treated prevalence and actual prevalence. And third, the authors are particularly interested in teasing out clues to the social etiology of mental illness. For example, the authors offer as their most general proposition, "Sociocultural conditions, in both their normative and deviant forms, operating in intrafamily and extrafamily settings during childhood and adulthood have measurable consequences in the mental health differences to be observed within a population." This work, thus, represents a particularly ambitious addition to the growing literature in social psychiatry. But it is essentially an epidemiological study, and, as such, it falls heir to the fundamental problems of epidemiological studies in mental health, which neither its scope nor its methodological elaborateness mitigate.
The research program consisted of
Bucher R. Mental Health in the Metropolis: The Midtown Manhattan Study.. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(6):623-626. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720120097016