Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

Aetiology of anxiety and depressive disorders in an inner-city population. 1. Early adversity

G. W. Browna1 c1 and T. O. Harrisa1

a1 Department of Social Policy and Social Science, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College; Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London


A survey of an inner-city population of working-class and single mothers is described and the prevalence of anxiety and depression reported using two related diagnostic schemes, Bedford College caseness and DSM-III-R. This acts as an introduction to an analysis which indicates that adverse experiences in childhood and adolescence (involving parental indifference, and sexual and physical abuse) considerably raise risk of both depression and anxiety conditions (with the exception of mild agoraphobia and simple phobia) in adult life.


c1 Address for correspondence: Professor G. W. Brown, Department of Social Policy and Social Science. Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (University of London), 11 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3RA.