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Tip: Books are sorted alphabetically…

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The list of books available on PEP Web is sorted alphabetically, with the exception of Freud’s Collected Works, Glossaries, and Dictionaries. You can find this list in the Books Section.

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Gillespie, W.H. (1941). New Facts on Mental Disorders: Study of 89, 190 Cases: By Neil A. Dayton. (Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois; Baillière, Tindall & Cox, London, 1940. Pp. xxxiv + 486. Price, 25 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 22:86-86.

(1941). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 22:86-86

New Facts on Mental Disorders: Study of 89, 190 Cases: By Neil A. Dayton. (Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois; Baillière, Tindall & Cox, London, 1940. Pp. xxxiv + 486. Price, 25 s.)

Review by:
W. Hewitt Gillespie

This book presents the results of a statistical investigation from many different angles of all admissions to mental hospitals in Massachusetts from 1917 to 1933. A statistician would doubtless regard the method of presentation as a popular one, for there is no statistical jargon nor mathematics and the results are presented in simple diagrammatic form. The way in which conclusions are drawn from the figures sometimes appears facile and arbitrary and suggests a confusion of post hoc with propter hoc, but this impression is probably due to the simplified method of presentation.

The title of the book suggests, however, that we are invited to consider the facts rather than any theories based on them, and certainly a number of striking facts emerge from this study, such as the following:—

1. The first year of prohibition coincided with a precipitate drop of 15 per cent. in the admission rate. This was due only in part to a reduction of over 50 per cent. in alcoholic psychoses. Dementia præcox decreased 9 per cent. in males and 20 per cent. in females; and involutional psychoses 19 per cent. in males and 29 per cent. in females.

2. Admissions of patients under forty are steadily decreasing, but those over fifty are increasing. Allowing for the number of the total population living at a given age, the admission rate rises steadily with age, reaching its maximum between the ages of eighty and eighty-nine. Thus the prevalent idea that the middle years are those most liable to mental disorder is a statistical fallacy.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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