The association of early parental deprivation with the subsequent development of psychopathology has been reported by a large number of authors.1 The systematic studies published prior to 1958 have been well summarized in a critical review by Gregory, who focused particularly on the sources of error in these studies.2 Brown3 recently reported a significant relationship between parental loss in childhood and adult depression. He found that 41% of 216 depressed adult patients had lost a parent through death before the age of 15; this incidence was found to be significantly greater than the incidence of orphanhood in the general population in England (12%) and in a comparison group of 267 medical patients (19.6%).
The previous studies of orphanhood and psychopathology had certain methodological limitations which pose difficulties in evaluating the obtained relationships. First, when the isolation of the criterion group depends
BECK AT, SETHI BB, TUTHILL RW. Childhood Bereavement and Adult Depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;9(3):295-302. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720150105011