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Over the past two decades, as the problem of mental health has become an increasingly obvious issue in American life, behavioral scientists of various disciplines have turned their attention to the investigation of those of its aspects appropriate to their particular areas of skill. Especially prominent in this effort have been the sociologists.
As result, there has arisen a subspecialty—psychiatric sociology—which the editor of this book defines as "the study of mental disorders as social phenomena" using the methods of sociology, and differentiates from social psychiatry.
He defines the latter specialty by quoting from Rennie: "the study of the etiology and dynamics of persons seen in their total environment and [as aiming] to determine the significant facts in family and society which affect individual and group adaptation in the natural setting and [as] concerned with the processes that retard or facilitate adaptation of all persons within the whole framework
Goldsmith J. The Sociology of Mental Disorders, Analyses and Readings in Psychiatric Sociology.. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(2):254–255. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740080126029