Religious affiliation and psychiatric diagnosis: The influence of Christian sect membership on diagnosis distribution

  • P. Dalgalarrondo
  • M. Lotz
Original Articles


Minority religions, sects and cults are an increasingly common socio-cultural phenomenon, of which the effects concerning mental health and illness are still poorly understood. In the present study, we compared socio-demographical and clinical characteristics between members of Christian sects and the remaining general inpatient population admitted to a psychiatric clinic in Germany between 1978 and 1991. In comparison to the general patient population, Christian sect patients presented significantly more frequently with a diagnosis of functional psychoses (P<0.02) and less frequently with diagnoses of neuroses (P<0.10). Dissimilarities among sub-cultural groups in help-seeking behavior are suggested to explain the heterogeneous diagnoses distribution found in the study.

Key words

Religion Sects Culture Psychiatric diagnosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Dalgalarrondo
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Lotz
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Institute of Mental Health MannheimMannheimGermany
  2. 2.State University of CampinasBrazil

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