Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The relationship between national levels of unemployment and the rate of admission to mental hospitals in England and Wales, 1950–1976

  • 35 Accesses

  • 10 Citations

Summary

Using a retrospective design based on archival data the hypothesis that there exists an inverse relationship between the level of economic activity as indexed by the rate of unemployment and the rate of first admissions to mental hospitals was tested. It was found that between 1950 and 1976 other economic indicators (such as economic growth and expenditure on welfare) had substantially stronger relationships with first admission rates than did unemployment. When these other factors were controlled a positive relationship was found, for both sexes, between the rate of unemployment and the mental hospital first admissions rate. However, the relationship for males was statistically significant only for those aged 25–44 years and for females only for those aged between 20 and 54 years. Contrary to findings in the United States, introducing a time lag between changes in unemployment and changes in hospital admissions did not produce a stronger relationship, and in Britain females were more sensitive to economic fluctuations than were males.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Brenner MH (1973) Mental illness and the economy. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA

  2. Brenner MH (1976) Estimating the social costs of national economic policy: implications for mental and physical health and criminal aggression. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

  3. Brenner MH (1977) Health costs and benefits of economic policy. Int J Health Serv 7: 581–623

  4. Brenner MH (1979) Mortality and the national economy. Lancet II: 568–573

  5. Brown GW, Harris T (1978) Social origins of depression. Tavistock, London

  6. Catalano RA (1975) Community stress: a preliminary conceptualization. Man Environ Systems 5: 307–310

  7. Catalano RA (1979) Health costs of economic expansion: the case of manufacturing accident injuries. Am J Public Health 69: 789–794

  8. Catalano RA, Dooley CD (1977) Economic predictors of depressed mood and stressful life events in a metropolitan community. J Health Soc Behav 18: 292–307

  9. Cochrane R (1977) Mental illness in immigrants to England and Wales: an analysis of mental hospital admissions, 1971. Soc Psychiatry 12: 25–35

  10. Cochrane R (1980) Mental illness in England, in Scotland and in Scots living in England. Soc Psychiatry 15: 9–15

  11. Cochrane R, Stopes-Roe M (1979) Psychological disturbance in Ireland, in England and in Irish emigrants to England: a comparative study. Econ Soc Rev 10: 301–320

  12. Cochrane R, Stopes-Roe M (1981) Women, marriage, employment and mental health. Br J Psychiatry 139: 373–381

  13. Dayton NA (1940) New facts on mental disorders. Thomas, Springfield, IL

  14. Dooley CD, Catalano RA (1979) Economic life and disorder changes: time-series analysis. Am J Comm Psychol 7: 381–396

  15. Draper P (1980) Letter. Guardian p 12, 21st November

  16. Dunham HW (1959) Sociological theory and mental disorder. Wayne State University Press, Detroit, MI

  17. Durbin J, Watson GS (1950) Testing for serial correlation in leastsquares regression, Part 1. Biometrika 37: 409–423

  18. Durbin J, Watson GS (1951) Testing for serial correlation in leastsquares regression, Part 2. Biometrika 38: 159–178

  19. Durkheim E (1952) Suicide: a study in sociology. Routledge and Kegan, London

  20. Fagin L (1981) Unemployment and health in families. DHSS, London

  21. Gravelle HSE, Hutchinson G, Stern J (1981) Mortality and unemployment: a critique of Brenner's Time-Series Analysis. Lancet II: 675–679

  22. Gurney R, Taylor K (1981) Research on unemployment: defects, neglect and prospects. Bull Br Psychol Soc 34: 349–352

  23. Halliday JL (1948) Psychosocial medicine. Heinemann, London

  24. Harrison R (1976) The demoralising experience of prolonged unemployment. Department of Employment Gazette 84: 339–348

  25. Hartley JF (1980) Psychological approaches to unemployment. Bull Br Psychol Soc 33: 412–414

  26. Hepworth SJ (1980) Moderating factors of the psychological impact of unemployment. J Occup Psychol 53: 139–145

  27. Hill JMM (1977) The social and psychological impact of unemployment: a pilot study. Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, London

  28. Jahoda M (1979) The impact of unemployment in the 1930s and the 1970s. Bull Br Psychol Soc 32: 309–314

  29. Kasl V (1979) Mortality and the business cycle: some questions about research strategies when utilizing macro-social and ecological data. Am J Public Health 69: 784–788

  30. Komora PO, Clark MA (1935) Mental disease in the crisis. Ment Hygiene 19: 289–301

  31. Malzberg B (1940) Social and biological aspects of mental disease. States Hospitals Press, New York

  32. Marsden D, Duff E (1975) Workless. Penguin, Harmondsworth, Middlesex

  33. Marshall JR, Funch DP (1979) Mental illness and the economy: a critique and partial replication. J Health Soc Behav 20: 282–289

  34. Mowrer ER (1939) A study of personal disorganization. Am Sociol Rev 4: 475–487

  35. Ordnance Survey (1982) The Ordnance Survey atlas of Great Britain. Ordnance Survey Country Life Books, Southampton

  36. Pierce A (1967) The economic cycle and the social suicide rate. Am Soc Rev 32: 457–462

  37. Pollock HM (1935) The depression and mental disease in New York State. Am J Psychol 91: 736–771

  38. Pugh FT, Macmahon B (1962) Epidemiologic findings in United States mental hospital data. Little, Brown, Boston

  39. Stafford EM, Jackson P, Banks M (1980) Employment, work involvement and mental health in less qualified young people. J Occup Psychol 53: 291–304

  40. Stern J (1981) Unemployment and its impact on morbidity and mortality. Centre for labour economics. London School of Economics

  41. Stewart M (1967) Keynes and after. Penguin, Harmondsworth, Middlesex

  42. Stokes GJ (1981) The psychological and social consequences of economically precipitated stress. Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Stokes, G., Cochrane, R. The relationship between national levels of unemployment and the rate of admission to mental hospitals in England and Wales, 1950–1976. Soc Psychiatry 19, 117–125 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00595151

Download citation

Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Economic Growth
  • Positive Relationship
  • Hospital Admission
  • Economic Activity