Longitudinal Research on Psychopathology in Psychiatric Patients: Some Assets and Liabilities

  • Robert Cancro


It has been often observed that to know a person or even an organization you must have the opportunity to live with him and observe his actions closely over time. My introduction to the Society for Life History Research in Psychopathology occurred when I joined. The procedural activities involved in this serious life event were to put my mailing address on the bottom of a sheet of paper and send it off to Minnesota. The Society had an unadorned quality not unlike Robert Hall. It was devoid of officers, committees, dues, tax exemption, and even a constitution. On November 1, 1973, in deference to the complexity of our times, a committee was formed to consider the future directions — if any — of the organization. The urgency of the questions posed to the committee led to a luncheon meeting on May 22, 1975. These events might cause the casual observer to conclude that the Society is extraordinarily liberal and manifests a passionate aversion to structure. Certainly, its interest in the longitudinal study of psycho-pathology suggests if not a preference at least sympathy for subjective impressions.


Longitudinal Research Community Mental Health Center Subjective Impression Mental Patient Longitudinal Approach 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Cancro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryNew York University Medical CenterUSA

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