Searching for the Causes of Mental Disorders

Ezra Susser, Sharon Schwartz, Alfredo Morabia and Evelyn J. Bromet

in Psychiatric Epidemiology

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780195101812
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864096 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Psychiatry Series

Searching for the Causes of Mental Disorders

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This chapter introduces an integrative approach to studying causes in the present era, using the example of anorexia nervosa, a disorder that occurs mainly in young women and carries some risk of mortality. It argues that psychiatric epidemiology is well positioned for a concentrated search for the causes of mental disorders. It proposes that risk factor methods be fully exploited in this endeavor. It also advocates the adoption of a broad conceptual framework, an integrative approach suitable for studying biological, genetic, psychological, and societal causes of mental (and other) disorders.

Keywords: psychiatric epidemiology; causal research; mental illness; risk factor methods; anorexia nervosa

Chapter.  2890 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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