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Abstract

International and cross-cultural research concerning populations living in poverty have uncovered similarities in attitudes and behaviors associated with participation in society's institutional systems. One of these similarities is that feelings of alienation are an inevitable "reaction of the poor to their marginal position in a class-stratified, highly individuated, capitalistic society" (Lewis, 1966:21). These feelings, in turn, have led poor people in general to withdraw from participation in community life, including the community's institutions charged with the task of delivering services associated with physical welfare. The central task of this paper is to report findings that suggest that the degree of social stability among a poverty sample is inversely associated with favorable attitudes toward a public clinic's nurse practitioner program charged with the task of treating infants.

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