Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Paul T. Mountjoy

Second Advisor

Dr. Malcolm Robertson

Third Advisor

Dr. Roger Ulrich

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Dennis Simpson


This research was set out to assess in depth the behavioral and resource needs of the Hispanic Community in order to create a data base from which tactics of action could be developed and responsive and necessary services could be planned and initiated. Following are four of the basic assumptions that guided this research. One, Behavioral Health (BH) is directly related to the behavioral and resource base in areas necessary for living. Two, in order to plan responsive and necessary services, it is necessary to know the target community's behavioral and resource base and needs; e.g., in economics, employment, education, culture, health, etc. Three, although behavioral change is functionally related to the immediate behavior-consequence relationships; change can also result from inter- and intra-systemic rearrangements. And four, behavioral well-being can be best achieved through promotional/preventive rather than curative efforts.

Specifically, this research activity proposed to obtain an information base that contained: (a) an objective determination of areas of behavioral and resource needs, the extent and magnitude of need, and an estimate of the number of people in each need area; (b) an objective description of the local Hispanic population characteristics; (c) the identification of Hispanic households in the County; (d) a determination of specific variables and their functional relationships that are important in the planning and delivery of services and (e) service evaluation.

The basic method utilized for information gathering was face to face interviewing of a random sample of Hispanic families in Kalamazoo County. The materials developed for this research included a questionnaire (in English and Spanish) and other necessary adjunctive materials.

Excluding the researcher, there were four interviewers who received 80 hours of training on procedures directly related to all aspects of the interviewing and recording process. Control procedures to maximize reliability of data included the training procedure itself; interviewer's self-checking and interviewer's cross checking on preselected variables on the filled out computer sense sheets; error identification through computer printouts; interview varification by the researcher; and other.

The Hispanic population areas of functioning were the basis for description and analysis of the data. In turn, the application and the utilization of the information base were related to the interacting systems of the general population, including socio-economic and power structures.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access