Parnell (1951) reported that 76 men undergraduates at Oxford had lost a full term's residence on account of psychological ill health in the period of three years from 1 January, 1947 to 31 December, 1949. Psychological ill health had caused 52·5 per cent. of all prolonged absence through illness, a fact which emphasized the need for more detailed study of the causes and possibility of prevention of psychological disturbance. As an indication of minimal current prevalence of such disturbance, it may be reported that 59 Oxford students in need of psychiatric help were referred by their general practitioners to the Warneford and Park Hospitals in twelve months from 1 April, 1953 to 31 March, 1954: these figures take no account of the numbers treated elsewhere; but the evidence as a whole shows that, as found in 1951, mental upset is still the most important cause of ill health in Oxford students.
Information derived from a comparison of somatotype, electroencephalographic, psychological and psychiatric findings upon patients and healthy controls is summarized in this paper. It shows that, despite a probable bias in the controls, significant differences can be detected between the two samples. Some of these differences were sufficiently marked to form the basis for a simple heuristic method of detecting vulnerability.