Abstract Introduction MENTAL illness rates reported for the American Negro are currently a subject of considerable debate. Most reports of first admissions to state hospitals confirm an increased number of Negroes suffering from schizophrenic reactions, alcoholism, acute and chronic brain syndromes.4-6 Studies5 enumerating illness rates for neurosis among the American Negro are less reliable and more speculative.Pettigrew5 challenges the validity of many studies dealing with mental illness rates in the American Negro. He concludes that difficult methodological problems must be solved before accurate appraisals of mental illness in the Negro population can be determined. A few of the major difficulties that beset such studies include failure to distinguish between prevalence and incidence rates, inattention to the type and availability of psychiatric treatment as a function of socioeconomic class, application of different definitions for mental illness, and heavy reliance on state References 1. Malzberg, B.: Statistical Study of First Admissions With Involutional Psychosis to Hospitals for Mental Disease in New York: Part I. , Psychiat Quart 22:141-155, 1948.Crossref 2. Kardiner, A., and Ovesey, L.: Mark of Oppression , ed 1, New York, W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1951. 3. Stainbrook, E.: " Cross-Cultural Evaluation of Depressive Reactions ," in Depression , P. H. Hoch, and J. Zubin, (eds.), New York: Grune & Stratton, Inc., 1954. 4. Malzberg, B.: Frequency of Mental Disease: Study of Trends in New York State , Acta Psych Scand 39:19-30, 1963.Crossref 5. Pettigrew, T. F.: Profile of Negro American , Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc., 1964. 6. Chronic Illness in United States: in Chronic Illness in a Large City : Baltimore Study , Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1957, vol 4. 7. Prange, A. J., and Vitals, M. M.: Cultural Aspects of Relatively Low Incidence of Depression in Southern Negroes , Int J Soc Psychiat 8:104-112 ( (Spring) ) 1962.Crossref 8. Hollingshead, A. B., and Redlich, F. C.: Social Class and Mental Illness , New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1958. 9. Henderson, D., and Batchelor, R. C.: Henderson and Gillespie's Textbook of Psychiatry for Students and Practitioners , ed 9, New York: Oxford University Press, 1962. 10. United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, National Institute of Health: Patients in Mental Institutions, US Government Printing Office, 1961. 11. Myers, J. K., and Roberts, B. H.: Family and Class Dynamics in Mental Illness , New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1959. 12. Pasamanick, B.: Survey of Mental Disease in Urban Population: VII. Approach to Prevalence by Race , Amer J Psychiat 119:229-305, ( (Oct) ) 1962. 13. Friedsam, H. J.; Whatley, C. D.; and Rhodes, A. L.: Some Selected Aspects of Judicial Commitments of Mentally Ill in Texas , Texas J Sci 6:27-30, 1954. 14. Abraham, K.: Selected Papers , London: Hogarth Press, Ltd., 1927, p 422-432. 15. Barnett, J.: Leffard, A.: and Pushman, D.: Involutional Melancholia , Psychiat Quart 27:654, 1953.Crossref 16. Tait, D., and Burns, G. C.: Involutional Illnesses: Survey of 379 Patients, Including Follow-up Study of 114 , Amer J Psychiat 108:27-36 ( (July) ) 1951. 17. Lindeman, E.: " Mental Health and Environment ," in Urban Condition , L. J. Duhl, (ed.) New York: Basic Books Inc., 1963. 18. Ruesch, J.: " Psychiatric Treatment ," in Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease , Vol. 37, S. B. Wortis, C. C. Herman, and C. C. Hare, (eds.), Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co., 1953. 19. St. Clair, H. R.: Psychiatiic Interview Experiences With Negroes , Amer J Psychiat 108:113, 1951. 20. Price, D. O., and Searles, R.: " Some Effects of Interviewer-Respondent Interaction on Responses in Survey Situation ," in Profile of Negro American , T. F. Pettigrew, (ed.), Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand Co. Inc., 1964. 21. Sharp, V. H., et al: Sociopaths and Schizophrenics: Comparison of Family Interactions , Psychiatry 27:127-134 ( (May) ) 1964. 22. Smart, R. G.: Alcoholism, Birth Order and Family Size , J Abnorm Soc Psychol 66:17, 1963.Crossref 23. Bowlby, J., et al: Effects of Mother-Child Separation: Follow-Up Study , Brit J Med Psychol 29:211, 1956.Crossref 24. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company: American Widow , Statistical Bull 43:1-4 ( (Nov) ) 1962. 25. McCord, J.; McCord, W.; and Thurber, E.: Effects of Maternal Employment on Lower-Class Boys , J Abnorm Soc Psychol 67:177, 1963.Crossref 26. 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Duhl, (ed.), New York: Basic Books Inc., Pub, 1963. 33. Prange, A. J., and Vitals, M. M.: Jokes Among Southern Negroes: Revelation of Conflict , J Nerv Ment Dis 136:162-167, ( (Feb) ) 1963.Crossref 34. Benedict P. R., and Irving, J.: Mental Illness in Primitive Societies , Psychiatry 17:377-390 ( (Nov) ) 1954. 35. Trent, R. D.: Color of Investigator as Variable in Experimental Research With Negro Subjects , J Soc Psychol 40:281-287, 1954.Crossref 36. Mental Disorders, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, American Psychiatric Association: Washington, DC: the Association, 1962. 37. Davis, A., and Havighurst, R. G.: Social Class and Color Differences in Child-Rearing , Amer Soc Rev 11:698-710, 1946.Crossref 38. Myers, J. K.: Bean, L. L.: and Pepper, M. P.: Social Class and Mental Illness: Ten-Year Follow-Up of Psychiatric Patients , Conn Med 28:355 ( (May) ) 1964.
Archives of General Psychiatry – American Medical Association
Published: Aug 1, 1965