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The Use of Psychotherapeutic Drugs by Middle-Aged Women

Lawrence S. Linn and Milton S. Davis
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 12, No. 4 (Dec., 1971), pp. 331-340
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137077
Page Count: 10
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The Use of Psychotherapeutic Drugs by Middle-Aged Women
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Abstract

In medical sociology, there is a well-documented concept called "illness behavior" which states that symptoms of illness are differentially perceived, evaluated, and acted upon by different kinds of people in different social situations (Mechanic, 1962). A number of measures of illness behavior such as responses to pain, recognition of symptoms, attitudes toward illness, utilization of health facilities, and compliance with medical advice have been demonstrated to be significantly related to social and cultural factors such as age, sex, social class, and ethnic background. Also, measures of illness behavior are related to medical criteria such as the number of physical or psychological problems or to such environmental factors as the degree of stress, social participation, or social integration into the community. Since the use of drugs also can be viewed as a means of acting upon recognized symptoms, the purpose of the present study will be: (a) to define the prevalence of psychotherapeutic drug use within a sample population, and (b) to analyse use in terms of social, cultural, medical, and environmental factors. Although there have been statistical reports indicating increases in the production and marketing of mood-altering drugs and evidence that patients are placing increasing pressure on their physicians to prescribe them (Greenlick, 1967), few studies of drug use in normal populations have been reported.

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