Eunice Luccock Corfman, 52, chief of science reports branch of the National Institute of Mental Health and a former free-lance journalist and writer, died at Sibley Memorial Hospital Thursday following a stroke.

Mrs. Corfman began as a writer and editor of technical papers, and was a consultant to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where she designed and set up a series of research monographs. About 1976, she joined the institute's staff on a full-time basis.

In 1978, she transferred to the National Institute of Mental Health as chief of science reports branch. There she also set up a series of scientific monographs. One of her particular interests was the relationship between manic depression and biological rhythms.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Mrs. Corfman wrote short stories and a novel, "The Roaring Shock Test," published in 1968. One of her stories, "To Be an Athlete," about a woman tennis player, was published in Harper's magazine and won the O. Henry Award or 1968.

In the early 1970s, she contributed several articles to The Washington Post and other publications on topics such as urban homesteading and prison reform. About 1970, she and Peter Brown wrote a historical analysis on moral and political issues associated with population issues for the President's Commission on Population growth and the American future.

Mrs. Corfman was born in Oak Park, Ill., and grew up in Shanghai, China, where her parents were Presbyterian missionaries, and in Evanston, Ill. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1950 and earned a master's degree in philosophy from Harvard in 1951. She earned another master's degree from the University of Maryland.

She and her husband, Dr. Phillip A. Corfman, whom she met while both were students at Oberlin, lived in Boston and Claverack, N. y., before moving to this area in 1964.

During her years in Boston, Mrs. Corfman also sang professionally.

She was a member of the Bethesda Friends Meeting. Through that meeting she was a volunteer at the Montgomery County Detention Center and at the federal prison in Petersburg, Va.

A tennis player, she was a member of the Early Birds Linden Hill Racquet Club in Bethesda.

In addition to her husband, of Bethesda, where the family lives, survivors include a daughter, Caris, of New Haven, Conn.; three sons, Stanley, of Washington, Timothy, of Chicago, and Mark, of Annandale, N.Y.; her mother, Lois Luccock of Pasadena, Calif., and a sister, Lynn Campbell of Santi Montica, Calif.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Bethesda Friends Meeting, P.O. Box 30152, Bethesda, Md., 20014.