Psychological Medicine

Research Article

The effect of sex, marriage and age at first admission on the hospitalization of schizophrenics during 2 years followings discharge

David C. Watta1 c1 and Teresa K. Szuleckaa1

a1 St John's Hospital, Stone, Aylesbury


Two hundred and eighty-two schizophrenics discharged from St John's Hospital, Stone, were followed-up. The reliability of the diagnosis was measured by the extent of agreement among the hospital clinicians. The number of readmissions and the time spent in hospital were ascertained and correlated with the sex, civil state and age at first admission of the subjects.

It was found that a higher proportion of males than of females was readmitted; that the proportion of single persons among male schizophrenics is higher than among comparable age groups in the general population; that single males are more frequently admitted than single females; that the peak age of first admission for males is 10 years earlier than for females and that men whose age at first admission is below the median are more frequently readmitted than those whose age at first admission is above it.

Women are more frequently married than men at the onset of schizophrenia, giving rise to the suggestion that marriage has a protective effect in schizophrenia. This hypothesis was not supported by our findings. The bearing of these findings on the course, genetics and marital handicap of schizophrenia is discussed.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr David C. Watt, St John's Hospital, Stone, Aylesbury, Bucks.