The relationship between social class and mental disorder
- Melissa J. Perry Sc.D.
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The inverse relationship between social class and rates of mental disorders was first documented in early mental hygiene studies at the beginning of this century and similar findings have been demonstrated in numerous contemporary studies. Interpretations of this persistent relationship include a downward drift explanation that posits that a decline in social status occurs as a result of precipitating mental illness, and a social causation model that emphasizes the importance of psychosocial stressors in the onset of mental disorders. A wealth of evidence supporting the social causation model is reviewed, drawing on mental health epidemiology, women's mental health, unemployment and physical health research. Political and economic origins of the downward drift hypothesis are also discussed.
- Adler, N.E., Boyce, T., Chesney, M.A., Folkman, S., and Syme, L. (1993). Socioeconomic inequalities in health.Journal of the American Medical Association, 269(24), 3140–3145.
- Albee, G.W. (1986). Toward a just society: Lessons from observations on the primary prevention of psychopathology.American Psychologist, 41, 801–898.
- Albee, G.W., Joffe, J.M., and Dusenbury, L.A. (1988).Prevention, powerlessness, and politics. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications.
- Brenner, M. (1976).Estimating the Social Costs of Economic Policy: Implications For Mental and Physical Health and Criminal Aggression. Report to the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and Joint Economic Committee of Congress. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.
- Brown, G., Bhrolchain, M., and Harris, T. (1975). Social class and psychiatric disturbance among women in an urban population.Sociology, 9, 225–254.
- Belle, D. (1990). Poverty and women's mental health.American Psychologist, 45(3), 385–389.
- Cassel, J. (1976). The contribution of the environment to host resistance.American Journal of Epidemiology, 104, 1040–1043.
- Catalano, R. (1991). The health effects of economic insecurity.American Journal of Public Health, 81(9), 1148–1152.
- Dohrenwend, B.P. (1975). Sociocultural and social-psychological factors in the genesis of mental disorders.Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 16, 365–392.
- Dohrenwend, B.P., Shrout, P.E., Link, B.G., Martin, J. and Skodol, A.E. (1986). Overview and initial results from a risk-factor study of depression and schizophrenia. In J.E. Barret and R.M. Rose (Eds.)Mental Disorders in the Community (pp. 184–215). New York: Guilford Press.
- Dunham, H.W. (1965).Community and Schizophrenia. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.
- Faris, R.E.L. and Dunham, H.W. (1939).Mental Disorders in Urban Areas. New York: Hafner Publishing Co.
- Fee, L. (1987).Disease and Discovery. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Gray, G. (1985). National commission on unemployment and mental health.Resource Papers to the Report of The National Mental Health Association Commission on the Prevention of Mental-Emotional Disabilities. Alexandria, VA: National Mental Health Association.
- Herrnstein, and Murray. (1994)The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. New York: The Free Press.
- Hollingshead, A.B. and Redlich, F.C. (1958).Social Class and Mental Illness. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
- Holzer, C., Shea, B., Swanson, J., Leaf, P., Myers, J., George, L., Weissman, M. and Bednarski, P. (1986). The increased risk for specific psychiatric disorders among persons of low socioeconomic status.American Journal of Social Psychiatry, 6, 259–271.
- Jarman, B., Hirsch, S., White, P., and Driscoll, R. (1992). Predicting psychiatric admission rates.British Medical Journal, 304, 1146–1150.
- Kammerling, R.M., and O'Connor, S. (1993). Unemployment rate as a predictor of rate of psychiatric admission.British Medical Journal, 307, 1536–1539.
- Lewis, M., (1978). Nearest neighbor analysis of epidemiological and community variables.Psychological Bulletin, 85(6), 1302–1308.
- Link, B.G., Dohrenwend, B.P., and Skodol, A.E. (1986). Socioeconomic status and schizophrenia: Noisome occupational characteristics as a risk factor.American Sociological Review, 51, 242–258.
- Link, B.G. Lennon, M.C., Dohrenwend, B.P. (1993). Socioeconomic status and depression: The role of occupations involving direction, control and planning.American Journal of Sociology, 98(6), 1351–1387.
- McCarron, P.G., Smith, G.D., and Womersley, J.J. (1994). Deprivation and mortality in Glasgow: Changes from 1980 to 1992.British Medical Journal, 309, 1481–1482. McLoone, P. and Boddy, F.A. (1994). Deprivation and mortality in Scotland, 1981–1991.British Medical Journal, 309, 1465–1470.
- Mirowsky, J. and Ross, C.E. (1989).Social Causes of Psychological Distress. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.
- Neugebauer, R., Dohrenwend, B.P., & Dohrenwend, B.S. (1980). Formulation of hypotheses about the true prevalence of functional psychiatric disorders among adults in the United States. In B.P. Dohrenwend,Mental Illness in the United States (pp. 45–94). New York: Praeger Publishers.
- Osipow, S.H. and Fitzgerald, L.F. (1993). Unemployment and mental health: A neglected relationship.Applied and Preventive Psychology, 2, 59–63.
- Sloggett, A. and Joshi, H. (1994). Higher mortality in deprived areas: Community or personal disadvantage?British Medical Journal, 309, 1470–1474.
- Spencer, H. (1873–1881).Descriptive Sociology. New York: D. Appleton.
- Srole, L., Langner, T.S., Micheal, S.T., Opler, M.K., and Rennie, T.A.C. (1962).Mental Health in the Metropolis: The Midtown Manhattan Study. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company Inc.
- United States Department of Health and Human Service (1985).Stressful Life Event Theory and Research: Implications for Primary Prevention. Rockville, MD: Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration, DHHS Publication No. (ADM) 85-1385.
- United States Department of Labor (1993). Earning Differences Between Women and Men. U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau Report No. 93-5.
- The relationship between social class and mental disorder
Journal of Primary Prevention
Volume 17, Issue 1 , pp 17-30
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Human Sciences Press
- Additional Links
- social class
- mental disorder
- social epidemiology
- Author Affiliations
- 1. University of Vermont, USA