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January 28, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(4):331-332. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800040049015

In a recent investigation of the genesis of mental disorders, Faris and Dunham1 made a record of the geographic distribution of mental disorders as based on their incidence in different socio-economic areas of one large city (Chicago) and one smaller city (Providence, R. I.). Previous sociologic studies have indicated that Chicago may be divided into more or less distinct concentric zones consisting of a central business district, occupied largely by stores, business offices and so on; then a transition zone, characterized by expanding industries, high land values and deteriorating residential buildings with so-called slums; a third zone consisting largely of working men's homes and intermediate in many respects between the slum areas and the residential areas, and two outer zones composed principally of apartment houses and commuter homes and inhabited largely by upper middle class families, many of them owning their homes. Since all patients with mental disorder in