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Overholser, W. (1954). Interrelations Between the Social Environment and Psychiatric Disorders: New York: Milbank Memorial Fund, 1953. 262 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:597-599.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:597-599

Interrelations Between the Social Environment and Psychiatric Disorders: New York: Milbank Memorial Fund, 1953. 262 pp.

Review by:
Winfred Overholser

This volume, the third of a series (the first was on Epidemiology of Mental Disorder and the second on the Biology of Mental Health and Disease), presents the results of a conference held in 1952 on what is often termed social psychiatry. Nearly fifty workers from such fields as public health, sociology, anthropology, psychology, animal psychology, and social psychiatry participated freely in the discussion of the several papers. Brief descriptions of nine research projects in the epidemiology of mental disorders are also presented here by the respective principal investigators; they are of value in that they collect in one volume data concerning actual projects of a varied nature in this important field. A comprehensive survey of such a wide-ranging discussion is difficult in a brief review, so a few points only are mentioned here.

In the opening address, Surgeon General Scheele of the United States Public Health Service notes particularly the impact on mental hospitals of the increasing numbers of older persons in the community, pointing out that the rate of admissions for persons over sixty-five increased in fifteen years (1933-1948) from one hundred forty-eight to two hundred twenty-five per one hundred thousand population. He also points out the vital necessity of prevention and of teamwork in all aspects of public health.

Professor Eugene Schneider discusses sociological concepts and psychiatric research, enumerating no less than thirty-two separate factors worthy of being tested in their relation to mental disease.

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