This paper presents findings related to the measure of stress in 641 schizophrenics (125 acutes and 516 chronics) and 95 comparable normals. Stress was defined as an imbalance between environmental demands and the respondent's ability to meet that demand successfully, and was measured in terms of level of stress experienced in relation to specific problem situations. Twenty-one dimensions of stress were measured, subsumed under the following four general areas: social performance, family interaction, social interpersonal interaction, and social maladaptive activities.
Results indicated that, in general, normals experience significantly less stress in dealing with life events than do schizophrenics. Within the schizophrenic group, the pseudo ambulatory chronic patients evidenced more stress than did their acute counterparts, a finding not previously described in the literature.
Implications of these findings do not support the present community after-care concepts. Discharged chronic schizophrenics appear unable to remain in the community for any reasonable period of time because of the high level of stress under which they function.