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(1973). Archives of General Psychiatry. XXVIII, 1973: Social Class and Psychopathology in Adoptees. P. H. Wender; D. Rosenthal; S. S. Kety; F. Schulsinger; J. Welner. Pp. 318-325.. Psychoanal Q., 42:659-660.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Archives of General Psychiatry. XXVIII, 1973: Social Class and Psychopathology in Adoptees. P. H. Wender; D. Rosenthal; S. S. Kety; F. Schulsinger; J. Welner. Pp. 318-325.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:659-660

Archives of General Psychiatry. XXVIII, 1973: Social Class and Psychopathology in Adoptees. P. H. Wender; D. Rosenthal; S. S. Kety; F. Schulsinger; J. Welner. Pp. 318-325.

This rewarding epidemiological study addressed itself to the known greater incidence of schizophrenic disorder among lower socioeconomic status (SES) individuals. The authors tested two hypotheses: 1, the 'downward drift hypothesis' which asserts that the higher rate of low SES people among the disturbed population is a consequence of these individuals' psychopathology; 2, the 'broad or intergenerational downward drift hypothesis' which asserts that the genetic diathesis to a mental illness with consequent social incompetence

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acts over several generations to sink a subpopulation into a lower social hierarchy. The authors tested the relative effects of class position and genetic diathesis by studying adopted persons. One method determined the psychiatric status of adoptees born to low SES parents and compared them with adoptees born to higher SES parents who would presumably have lesser genetic risk. Another method held SES of birth constant and then tested the effects of differing SES among the adopting parents. The subjects were adopted and nonadopted adults residing in Copenhagen. Results in one study supported the narrow downward hypothesis.

A third major explanatory hypothesis, the 'sociogenic hypothesis', asserts that there are intrapersonal, familial, and extrafamilial concomitants of lower class status which favor the development of psychopathology. The data did not support the sociogenic hypothesis. In another study all three hypotheses failed to obtain support.

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Article Citation

(1973). Archives of General Psychiatry. XXVIII, 1973. Psychoanal. Q., 42:659-660

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