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Abstract

Four related but marginally differentiated sociological and psychological attitude measures are evaluated through analysis of survey data. Generated from a statewide random sample (N=322), four measures of maladjustment/well-being -- the anomie, alienation, fatalism, and powerlessness scales -- are evaluated as being similar in nature. The moderately high correlations between the scale items comprising the four distinctive conceptual world-views suggest that the scales overlap considerably. The results of an oblique solution factor analysis, however, suggest that the scales being considered may be at least marginally differentiated. Comparisons between distinctive age groups of the sample of adults age 18 to 84 using the one-way analysis of variance suggest that the maladjusted view of the world may be most prevalent among younger and older members of society.

The findings are discussed in the light of implications which pertain to the traditional though somewhat confusing explanations for and analysis of human behavior which have evolved from and around the supposed distinctive conceptualizations of social maladjustment - namely, anomie, alienation and powerlessness. Further, a suggestion to proffer fatalism as an alternative explanation as to the philosophy of life (world-view) existing among the least powerful persons in society is proposed. Finally, this research offers support for the position that fatalistic determinism serves at least in part to explicate the relationships among anomie, alienation and powerlessness.

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