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Grank, H.H. (1962). The Social Epidemiology of Mental Disorders: By E. Gartly Jaco. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1960. 228 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 31:565-567.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:565-567

The Social Epidemiology of Mental Disorders: By E. Gartly Jaco. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1960. 228 pp.

Review by:
H. Harlan Grank

This psychiatric survey of Texas has all the expected rewards and limitations of surveys which, as the author states in the preface, have been disparaged in certain circles. Nevertheless, the trend to publication of studies of sociological factors in mental health and illness continues.

The author appropriately discusses in his introduction the many fallacies and limitations of any survey. He is to be commended for a faithful and patient inquiry among public and private institutions and psychiatric and medical practitioners. It is admitted that the nosological confusion among psychiatric and medical practitioners over what constitutes a psychosis (and the fact that probably many such cases go undetected in both medical and lay circles) produces misleading statistics.

The book is divided under convenient subtitles into Demographic Aspects, Social Ecology, and Socioeconomic Aspects of Mental Disorders. There is an excellent bibliography and index, but the most fruitful data is in the introductory chapter on social surveys and the last chapter, the summary and discussion.

The most pertinent findings are summarized by Jaco as follows: 'Higher adjusted rates of psychoses for females than males; lowest incidence rates of total psychoses for the Spanish-American group, with the next lowest rate among the non-whites, and the highest rates in the Anglo-American subcultural group; extremely divergent rates between the two most industrialized areas of Texas; the failure of migrants to show a significantly higher adjusted rate than those native to Texas; ethnic differentials in incidence rates by marital status; higher psychotic rates among those in the professional and semi-professional occupations than in other occupational categories; equally high incidence rates of psychoses among those attending college and those having no education; a high positive correlation between education and incidence of the toxic psychoses; and a positive association between educational attainment and rates among the males in the Spanish-American and non-white groups'.

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