Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. J. Ross Eshelman

Second Advisor

Dr. Chester A. Hunt

Third Advisor

Milton J. Brawer

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jerome G. Manis

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access



The concept of Deferred Gratification refers to the practice of postponing immediate satisfactions so that future goals may be gained. Today's activities are view-example, renouncing emotional impulses will permit eventual emotional satisfaction. Education is viewed as an investment in the future prospects. Saving money is done for future satisfactions. Putting off marriage until one has a good job is perceived as the means to greater mobility.

The utility of Deferred Gratification Patterns (DGP) is in its relationship to social class and social mobility. This is seen in that some realize that social mobility, upward or downward, is a probability in their life. This same group expresses in their actions and attitudes the realization that DGP affects their chances for upward mobility. Those who aspire to be socially mobile must also be aware of their social class level. It, therefore, follows that upward social mobility is a function of DGP in that mobility is partially dependent upon a willingness to defer gratifications.