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Occupational Mobility and Schizophrenia: An Assessment of the Social Causation and Social Selection Hypotheses
R. Jay Turner and Morton O. Wagenfeld
American Sociological Review
Vol. 32, No. 1 (Feb., 1967), pp. 104-113
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2091723
Page Count: 10
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An ongoing study of schizophrenic males provided an opportunity to study factors associated with the relationship between social class and schizophrenia under conditions that minimized the objections often raised against such investigations. Analysis of patients' occupations supported the typical finding of a substantially disproportionate number of schizophrenics in the lowest occupational category. In attempting to uncover the source of this over-representation, it was determined that the fathers of the patients were also over-represented at the lowest prestige level, but to a lesser degree. Although this observation lent some general support to the view that social factors contribute to the occurrence of the disorder, it appeared to make only a minor contribution to the observed over-representation. Detailed analysis of the occupational movement of patients relative to their fathers clearly indicated that subject over-representation results primarily from downward mobility. An effort was made to distinguish the relative contributions of social selection (the failure of patients to ever attain expected levels) and social drift (the movement from higher-level to lower-level jobs within one's own career) to the observed downward mobility. These analyses led to the conclusion that social selection accounts, in largest measure, for the downward shift, with social drift making a relatively minor contribution.
American Sociological Review © 1967 American Sociological Association