The Extremes of the Bell Curve
Excellent and Poor School Performance and Risk for Severe Mental Disorders
Published March 31st 2010 by Psychology Press – 186 pages
Series: Maudsley Series
It has long been claimed that there is a strong association between high intelligence, or exceptional creativity, and mental illness. In this book, James MacCabe investigates this claim, using evidence from Swedish population data. He finds evidence that children who achieve either exceptionally high, or very low grades at school, are at greater risk of adult mental health disorders.
This book opens with an introduction to the epidemiology of psychosis with particular emphasis on cognitive performance and creativity. It goes on to provide a detailed description of the rationale, methods and results of a population study involving nearly a million individuals, conducted by Dr MacCabe in collaboration with colleagues in Stockholm, Sweden, and London, UK.
The Extremes of the Bell Curve will be of interest to mental health professionals including psychologists, psychiatrists and epidemiologists. It will also prove useful to those working in education.
Background. Intelligence, Creativity and Mental Illness. Pre-morbid Neuropsychological Functioning in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: A Review of the Published Literature. The Study of Premorbid School Performance in Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses. School Performance and Psychosis: Unadjusted Analyses. Confounding and Interaction: Finding the Model That Best Describes the Data. School Performance in Individual School Subjects. General Discussion. Appendix.
James H. MacCabe is Senior Lecturer in Psychiatric Epidemiology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, where he conducts research on the causes, consequences and treatment of psychosis. He is also Consultant Psychiatrist at the National Psychosis Unit, Bethlem Royal Hospital.