PROMOTION AND MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE NAVY
NAVY MEDICAL NEUROPSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH UNIT SAN DIEGO CA
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The study compares the promotional attainments of 2,939 enlisted men in pay grades E-4, E-5, and E-6 third-class petty officer, second-class petty officer, and first-class petty officer, respectively who were admitted to naval hospitals for mental illness over a 2-year period with those of Navy enlisted men generally and those of men selected for special assignments in the Antarctic. Results indicated that the hospitalized psychiatric patients were significantly retarded in their promotion rate in the naval service, and it was inferred that mental ill health was incompatible with either routine or rapid advancement in the Navy occupational structure. Differences were found among 4 major diagnostic groups in promotional retardation and in probability of restoration to military duty. Possible factors accounting for the relationship between retardation in promotion and hospitalization for mental illness are discussed, and the need for longitudinal studies to reveal the complex etiology of mental illness in the military service is emphasized.
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