Socioeconomic status and psychiatric disorders: The causation-selection issue

Bruce P. Dohrenwend, Itzhak Levav, Patrick E. Shrout, Sharon Schwartz, Guedalia Naveh, Bruce G. Link, Andrew E. Skodol, Ann Stueve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Are inverse relations between psychiatric disorders and socioeconomic status due more to social causation (adversity and stress) or social selection (downward mobility of genetically predisposed)? This classical epidemiological issue is tested by focusing on ethnic status in relation to socioeconomic status. Ethnic status cannot be an effect of disorder because it is present at birth whereas socioeconomic status depends on educational and occupational attainment. A birth cohort sample of 4914 young, Israel-born adults of European and North African background was selected from the country's population register, screened, and diagnosed by psychiatrists. Results indicate that social selection may be more important for schizophrenia and that social causation may be more important for depression in women and for antisocial personality and substance use disorders in men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-952
Number of pages7
JournalScience
Volume255
Issue number5047
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

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Cite this

Dohrenwend, B. P., Levav, I., Shrout, P. E., Schwartz, S., Naveh, G., Link, B. G., Skodol, A. E., & Stueve, A. (1992). Socioeconomic status and psychiatric disorders: The causation-selection issue. Science, 255(5047), 946-952. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1546291