The follow-up phase of a random community sample of New Zealand women contrasted the social, demographic, and clinical characteristics of those women whose initial psychiatric disorder had remitted with those who continued to describe significant psychiatric morbidity, two-and-a-half years later. Of 272 women studied at baseline and reinterviewed, 57 had originally been psychiatric cases. Twenty-five of those women (44%) were still cases at follow-up. Using figures that statistically reconstructed the original population from the stratified sample, the remission rate in the parent population was 61% over the two-and-a-half years (an average of 24% per annum). Women less likely to experience remission of their psychiatric disorder were of mid-age (45–64 years), with poor finances and with poor social relationships at the initial assessment. Although the age finding replicates a previous report from an Epidemiological Catchment Area study, it is not clear whether it is a universal relationship, true for all cultures. The alterations in social roles faced by women after child-rearing is a possible explanation, at least for New Zealand.