Hostname: page-component-5db6c4db9b-s6gjx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-25T16:39:09.946Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Schizophrenia and Social Class

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2018

E. M. Goldberg
Medical Research Council's Social Medicine Research Unit, Iindon Hospital, London, E.I
S. L. Morrison
formerly of the same Unit


Since Faris and Dunham (1939) found that the mental hospital admission rate for schizophrenia was higher in the central slum districts of Chicago than in the rest of the city, many studies have been carried out on the association between low social status and hospital admission with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. With few exceptions (for example, Clausen and Kohn, 1959; Jaco, 1954) these studies have confirmed that those in the lowest social group (in this country class V in the Registrar-General's scheme) have the highest admission rates. Some of these investigations have been “ecological” or “indirect”; i.e., admission rates have been calculated for areas of a city defined, for example, as slum, working, or middle class areas, and the rates for these areas compared; other studies have been “individual” or “direct”, where admission rates have been calculated for aggregates of individuals, defined as belonging to particular social classes, and the rates for the classes compared. An ecological study, like that of Faris and Dunham, may show that rates are higher in poor districts, but it does not necessarily follow that the patients admitted are themselves poor. Individual studies, however, do show that men in unskilled jobs have the highest admission rates.

Research Article
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1963 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Clausen, J. A., and Kohn, M. L. (1959). “Relation of schizophrenia to the social structure of a small city”, in Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (edited by Pasamanick, B.). Washington.Google Scholar
Cooper, B. (1961). Brit. J. Prev. Soc. Med., 15, 1730.Google Scholar
Faris, R. E. L., and Dunham, H. W. (1939). Mental Disorders in Urban Areas. Chicago.Google Scholar
Floud, J. E., Halsey, A. H., and Martin, F. M. (1958). Social Class and Educational Opportunity. London.Google Scholar
Hollingshead, A. B., and Redlich, F. C. (1958). Social Class and Mental Illness. New York.Google Scholar
Jaco, E. G. (1954). Amer. Soc. Rev., 19, 567–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Logan, R. F. L., and Goldberg, E. M. (1953). Brit. J. Sociol., 4, 323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morrison, S. L. (1959). J. Ment. Sci., 105, 999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Susser, M. W., and Watson, W. (1962). Sociology in Medicine. London.Google Scholar
Wardle, C. J. (1962). In Society, Problems and Methods of Study (edited by Welford, et al.). London.Google Scholar
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.