Female cases of falling-out: A psychological evaluation of a small sample

Harriet P. Lefley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


A small sample of American Black females who suffer from "falling-out" (seizure-like episodes with no evidence of organicity) were intensively interviewed and tested with a battery of psychological instruments. Results indicated that subjects were of good intelligence and did not have personality profiles of hysterics. Commonalities included depression which appeared characterological rather than reactive; emotional constriction: denial and repression as primary defense mechanisms; lack of creative and imaginal resources; sexual problems and pronounced hostility toward males; and a tendency toward withdrawal and isolation in daily life. "Falling-out" appeared to be a desperate mode of dealing with anxiety in a group with limited coping mechanisms and almost no external support systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-116
Number of pages2
JournalSocial Science and Medicine. Part B Medical Anthropology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)

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