Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Morton O. Wagenfeld

Second Advisor

Dr. Lewis Walker

Third Advisor

Dr. Wayne Fuqua


In recent history most citizens have traditionally considered care of the mentally ill a public service, a government responsibility, and a financial expense best acquitted through taxation. A current topic of debate is whether or not mental health care should continue to be provided primarily in the public realm or instead be provided as a business. A question which must be answered as a part of this debate is: Does type of ownership affect service provision, and if so how? In order to answer this question data from the 1983 Inventory of Mental Health Organizations, a national survey sponsored by the Survey and Reports Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, were analyzed. Data analysis was confined to outpatient clinics, psychiatric hospitals and multiservice organizations. Specifically, differences in type of organization, quantity of clients served, race of clients, expenditures, income, net income, and staffing were investigated. Type of ownership was found to affect organizational type, client quantity, net income and staffing. The qualitative debate between those who favor the pursuit of economic efficiency through privatization and those favoring social equity and equal access to services through governmental control is discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access