Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Morton O. Wagenfeld

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Wait

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A basic question in the study of mental illness has been whether mental patients were victims of society or manipulators of their own careers. Four hypotheses were developed to investigate the manipulative aspect of this question. Patients were selected from three different mental institutions: a state hospital, a Veteran's Administration Hospital, and a private church-related hospital. The patients' records and a group-administered battery of test instruments provided the data used to test the hypotheses. Only one of the hypotheses was supported and the basic question remained unanswered. Lack of support for the remaining three hypotheses was not seen as conclusive refutation. Recommendations were offered to make future research more responsive to the peculiarities of the mental hospital environment and, hopefully, successful in resolving the basic issue.

Included in

Sociology Commons