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August 1965

Involutional Psychosis in Negroes: A Report and Discussion of Low Incidence

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami, School of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(2):148-154. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730020050006

Introduction  MENTAL illness rates reported for the American Negro are currently a subject of considerable debate. Most reports of first admissions to state hospitals confirm an increased number of Negroes suffering from schizophrenic reactions, alcoholism, acute and chronic brain syndromes.4-6 Studies5 enumerating illness rates for neurosis among the American Negro are less reliable and more speculative.Pettigrew5 challenges the validity of many studies dealing with mental illness rates in the American Negro. He concludes that difficult methodological problems must be solved before accurate appraisals of mental illness in the Negro population can be determined. A few of the major difficulties that beset such studies include failure to distinguish between prevalence and incidence rates, inattention to the type and availability of psychiatric treatment as a function of socioeconomic class, application of different definitions for mental illness, and heavy reliance on state

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