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May 1967

Mental Health Among the Divorced: A Field Study of Divorced and Never Divorced Persons

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich
From the Mental Health Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(5):603-608. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730230087011

DIVORCE in the United States is a social and personal problem of major dimensions. A considerable body of evidence links divorce with psychiatric disturbance. For example, families with multiple problems in which a high percentage of the marital Partners show signs of emotional disturbance or immaturity are highly vulnerable to divorce.1 Personality problems have been cited as causal in divorce,2 and a number of Workers3,4 report increased mental hospital admission rates among divorced persons. However, the only study of the relative frequency of mental illness in divorced and nondivorced persons in a nonpatient population with which we are acquainted is a study of persons over 65 in an upstate New York urban community.5

Our own inquiry into the relationship between divorce and mental illness was prompted by the nature of responses given by respondents investigated in a field study