The family history of mental illness and welfare dependence

J Clin Psychiatry. 1978 Apr;39(4):328-31.


During the year 1975 clinical interviews are obtained on all patients referred to the East Providence Community Mental Health Clinic for diagnosis and treatment. Data was obtained as to the presence or absence of a family history of similar mental illness. A hypothesis was tested that those patients with a family history of mental illness similar to that of the patient, were more likely to be welfare dependent. Correlations between patients with a positive family history of either schizophrenia or depression and welfare dependence were highly significant within social class 5 (unskilled laborers). However, these same correlations were negative within social class 4 (working class). The positive correlations suggest the possibility that the major mental illnesses are important factors in the need for welfare.

MeSH terms

  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Public Assistance*
  • Schizophrenia / complications
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Unemployment