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November 1972

Female Mental Patients and Their Normal Controls: A Restudy Ten Years Later

Author Affiliations

Columbus, Ohio
From the Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus Laboratories (Dr. Molholm) and the Department of Sociology, the Ohio State University (Dr. Dinitz).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(5):606-610. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750290032005

This paper describes a ten-year follow-up study of female mental patients and matched normal neighbors. Interviews with these women and their husbands elicited data on domestic performance, social participation, expectations of performance, psychological functioning, and marital and family adjustment. It was found that 45% (15) of the expatients were treated for psychiatric problems in the ten-year period, compared to 11% (four) of the controls. The Langner psychiatric screening scale indicated poorer functioning for patients and their husbands than for controls and their husbands. Responses to Locke and Wallace's short marital adjustment scale demonstrated that controls were much better adjusted and happier in their marriages than the expatient couples. Also, the children of expatients tended to be more poorly adjusted in school, at home, and in the community than the children of the controls. Patients centered more of their social activities around home and family, whereas controls were more likely to hold jobs.