Prior research and theory supported the hypothesis that social class status was inversely related to chronicity of schizophrenia. Chronicity was defined in terms of two components: duration of episodes and total number of episodes. A data file of hospital episodes of schizophrenia for a 7 yr period was developed from the Maryland Psychiatric Case Register to test the hypothesis. Social class status, as measured by occupation and education, was not systematically related to either duration of first hospitalization or to number of hospitalizations during the follow-up. It was suggested that changes in treatment practices, including the advent of psychotropic drugs and the community care movement, had reduced the relationship of social class to chronicity of schizophrenia.
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