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Hinsie, L.E. (1939). Modern Society and Mental Disease: By C. Landis and J. D. Page. (Farrar and Rinehart, Inc., New York. Pp. 190.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 20:94-96.

(1939). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 20:94-96

Modern Society and Mental Disease: By C. Landis and J. D. Page. (Farrar and Rinehart, Inc., New York. Pp. 190.)

Review by:
Leland E. Hinsie

Statistical analyses of mental diseases, from the standpoint of sociology, throw considerable light upon the influence of so-called exogenous factors upon mental disorders. In this monograph Landis and Page have furthered the understanding of such circumstances as age, environment, educational and economic status, marriage and eugenics, and heredity and sterilization, as those conditions are related to psychiatric discorders.

Of the many conclusions drawn by the authors the reviewer herein samples a few. Each of their conclusions is the result of statistical studies of large groups and is not the result of the study of single individuals. Without knowledge of the deeply-lying structures of the psyche, however, together with their conscious and environmental representations, it does not seem plausible to draw conclusions regarding the influences of conditions (personal or environmental) upon the psyche. The authors believe that 'the basic etiological factors of "mental" disease are physiological and constitutional rather than psychological'. They argue that 'if the basic factors were psychological, then we should find the highest rates of incidence either in those times of greatest social stress, such as war, disaster, or great social insecurity, or particularly at those age periods in the life of the individual when the stress of personal adjustment is the greatest'.

The authors assume that war is a social stress. How valid is such an assumption? War brings about regimentation by military powers, who, by designating the pursuits of the individual, relieve him of individual initiative.

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