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May 1971

Neurotic Symptom Dimensions: As Perceived by Psychiatrists and Patients of Various Social Classes

Author Affiliations

Baltimore; Bethesda, Md; Baltimore; Philadelphia
From the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore (Drs. Derogatis and Covi), the Psychopharmacology Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr. Lipman), and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia (Dr. Rickels).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(5):454-464. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750110066011

This study examined the constancy of a set of dimensions reflecting basic neurotic symptomology as perceived by psychiatrists and patients of various social classes. Five symptom dimensions derived through factor-analytic procedures were employed. The sample of 1,066 anxious neurotic outpatients completed selfratings on the Symptom Distress Checklist and an independent set of psychiatrists' ratings were available for a subsample of 837 patients. Assignment of the patients to one of three social class groups was made in terms of the Hollingshead Two-Factor Index of Social Position. The congruency coefficient and the coefficient of invariance were used to evaluate the contrasts and were highly compatible in regard to the major conclusions reached. Findings indicated a high level of similarity, both among patients and between patients and psychiatrists regarding their interpretations. Those differences that were observed tended to be focused in comparisons involving the lowerstatus patients.

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