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July 1928

The Significance of the Physical Constitution in Mental Disease.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1928;42(1):149-150. doi:10.1001/archinte.1928.00130190152014

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The authors present a compact discussion of their theme, defining the human constitution for the purpose of their investigation as "the correlative unity of those morphological, physiological and psychobiological developments of the individual which are definitely more influenced by heredity than by environment." Classifications of body types beginning with Hippocrates' "habitus apoplecticus" and "habitus phthisicus" and leading on up to Kretchmer's athletic, pyknic and asthenic groupings are tabulated and critically discussed. The material of this study consists of sixty-five male patients chosen at random from the Phipps Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital and a Maryland state hospital. Psychiatric, observational and anthropomorphic data were not compared until the final correlation. Classification of morphologic types was made according to Kretchmer's descriptive method.

The authors' research contribution consists of the formulation—after the calculation and analysis of about thirty-seven different mensural indexes in each patient—of an index relating leg length to chest diameters and trunk

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