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August 1970

Suicide in San Francisco's Skid Row

Author Affiliations

San Franciscon
From the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, San Francisco, and the Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(2):149-157. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750020053007

THERE is an increasing appreciation of ecology as a fundamental construct in the study of human problems. In a review of relevant experimental literature, Hunt1 has concluded that the major variation in behavior is not due to "... individual differences in subjects per se, nor the variations among situations per se. It is, rather, the interactions among these which are important." From the context of the emerging field of community mental health, Kelly,2 Klein,3 and Kalis4 have emphasized the relevance of ecological considerations for community psychology. This recognition of the "mutuality" between persons and their environments has slowly become explicit in research design.5,6

Nowhere are human-community problems more acute than in the heavily populated metropolitan centers.7 Two examples of

widespread urban problems are suicide and alcoholism. The present communication represents a preliminary attempt to assess whether these two problems are interrelated and, if so, in

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