A standardized study of the point prevalence of non-psychotic disorder was carried out on a systematic sample of Canberra residents (N = 756). Rates were estimated for PSE CATEGO diagnoses and the Index of Definition. The association between neurosis and deficiencies in social relationships was examined, using the Interview Schedule for Social Interaction (ISSI). An objective measure of exposure to adversity was also obtained at interview. Both attachment and social integration (affectionally close and more diffuse relationships) were found to be negatively associated with neurosis. This association holds in its own right, in addition to an interaction with the load of adversity. The associations are weaker for men.
The significance of this work lies in its demonstration of an association between neurosis and the lack of social ties, and in its attempt to obtain a specification of those elements in social relationships which, when deficient, may be associated with neurosis. The direction of causality has now to be investigated.