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Colby, K. (1949). Marriage and Mental Disease: A Study in Social Psychopathology: Ornulv Odegard. J. of Mental Science, XCII, 1946, pp. 35–59.. Psychoanal Q., 18:131.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Marriage and Mental Disease: A Study in Social Psychopathology: Ornulv Odegard. J. of Mental Science, XCII, 1946, pp. 35–59.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:131

Marriage and Mental Disease: A Study in Social Psychopathology: Ornulv Odegard. J. of Mental Science, XCII, 1946, pp. 35–59.

Kenneth Colby

From a statistical survey of 14,231 first admissions to Norwegian mental hospitals, it is shown that the incidence of mental disease is higher in single than in married persons. Three explanatory hypotheses are discussed in the light of this material: 1, hospitalization (a single person when mentally ill is more readily admitted to a mental hospital); 2, selection (before the outbreak of mental disease the patient possesses personality traits which act as marriage handicaps); 3, protection (married life provides factors which prevent the outbreak of mental illness).

This predominance of mental disease in the single person presents characteristic variations: 1, it is higher in schizophrenia than in manic-depressive psychoses, high in psychoses with imbecility and epilepsy, low in paresis and organic psychoses; 2, it is independent of age; 3, it is more marked in men than in women; 4, it is independent of occupation or standard of living. Because of these facts, Odegard favors the hypothesis of selection to account for his conclusions and emphasizes that this selection is based upon personality rather than upon economic factors.

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Article Citation

Colby, K. (1949). Marriage and Mental Disease: A Study in Social Psychopathology. Psychoanal. Q., 18:131

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