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THE EFFECT OF CULTURE CHANGE ON THE NEGRO RACE IN VIRGINIA, AS INDICATED BY A STUDY OF STATE HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS
DAVID C. WILSON; EDNA M. LANTZ
Am J Psychiatry 1957;114:25-32.
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Univ. of Virginia Hosp., Charlottesville, Va.

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Abstract

1. A study of white and Negro patients hospitalized for mental illness in the State of Virginia shows a higher ratio for Negro patients when the rate per 100,000 population of respective races is considered. Also there is a tremendous increase of Negro admissions now as compared to 1914.2. This same finding is reflected in a study of first admissions of the mentally ill.3. This difference is not due to mental deficiency, alcoholism or epilepsy without psychosis.4. The difference is due in the main to the number of Negroes admitted for senile psychosis, arteriosclerotic dementia, or schizophrenia. This figure is larger than that for similar white admissions and greater now than in 1918.5. The number of Negroes admitted because of senile and arteriosclerotic diseases is not due to the admission of more older Negroes than white, because persons 65 and over make up a greater percentage of white admissions than of Negro. Also the increase in admissions of Negro patients 65 and over has not sufficiently increased over the years to explain the difference between admissions now and 40 years ago.6. The rate of first admissions to mental hospitals per 100,000 of Negro population in Virginia, while higher than the white, is lower than the rate in northern states. This would indicate that the migration of Negroes to the North did not increase the rate per 100,000 of those Negroes who stayed in Virginia. The probabilities are that the more unstable members of the race migrated.7. The apparent decrease of rate in the admission of white patients to the state hospitals during the last 10 years is due to other facilities for treatment, such as the private hospitals and the psychiatric wards in general hospitals.

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