Social class, psychological disorder, and the nature of the psychopathologic indicator

Leonard R. Derogatis, Harriet Yevzeroff, Bridget Wittelsberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evaluated the nature and degree of differences between 3 measures of clinical status often used as primary indicators of psychological disorder: (a) a general severity score, combining information on both numbers of symptoms and intensity of distress; (b) a symptom distress score, reflecting only intensity of distress; and (c) a pure enumerative indicator, reflecting only numbers of symptoms. The indicators were contrasted within the context of patient social class, since previous work has shown it to be an important influence in determining symptom patterns. A strong inverse relationship has been repeatedly demonstrated between social class and psychological disorder. Data from previous studies of 1,104 anxious neurotic outpatients were used, and measurement was done in terms of the 5 primary symptom dimensions and the total pathology score of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist. Results confirm the traditional inverse relationship between social class and psychological disorder but demonstrate that it was conditional in nature. Only when disorder was defined in terms of an indicator based to some degree on numbers of symptoms, and only on the symptom dimensions of somatization and anxiety, did the traditional pattern clearly emerge. (26 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1975


  • nature of psychopathologic indicators, relationship between social class &
  • psychological disorder, anxious neurotic outpatients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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