A Contribution to The Aetiology of Manic-Depressive Insanity (1940)

Occupation and Social Level

 It seems certain that the constitution (in its widest sense) which is liable to manic‑depressive psychoses is of greater frequency in the higher social levels. In this paint my material confirms the findings of Luxenburger.1 It is, of course, not so extensive as the case material on which his statistics are based, but it is of particular interest in that it offers some data for the answering of a particular question. The occupations of parents, propositi, and children, are given in the following table.

    In this table the operation of the gradual social and economic changes of the last eighty years can be clearly seen. There is a gradual disappearance of the independent craftsman and the peasant proprietor. In their place appear the clerk and the shop assistant. The decrease of the proportion of independent craftsmen from 31% in the parents to 7% in the children and that of the peasant proprietors from 20.5% in the parents to 5% in the children is specially remarkable. In general, however, there is no fall of social niveau. This clearly appears from Table 10.

    If one tests these figures by the x2 method, it is found that no significant difference in the social position of the three generations exists. It seems to be an interesting point that this severe recurrent disease does nt in general effect the social niveau of the family affected.


(1) Eugenik. (1933) 5

(2) loc. cit. The figures given here have been recalculated from Luxenburger's figures, 23.3%, 24.3%, 29.1%, 14.4%, in order to avoid the percentage of unclassifiable cases included in his paper.