Attention has been devoted in recent years to the possible association of parental deprivation in childhood and adolescence with the development of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, in later life. Previous reports have varied in both statistical data and interpretation. Wahl,1 Gregory,2 Hilgard and Newman,3 and we4 have reviewed some of these earlier reports. Our previous study failed to indicate the occurrence of a higher incidence of parental deprivation in schizophrenic patients than in control subjects or in individuals suffering from other psychoses.
Earlier reports have been criticized on the basis of failure to take into consideration the declining rate of orphanage in the normal population, in succeeding decades of the 20th century. It is apparent now that this factor must be considered when comparing the incidence of parental deaths in an experimental group and in a control group,