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Social class and the pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization experience of the mentally ill Cox, Michael C.

Abstract

This research project was undertaken to determine if there are social class differences in the pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization experiences of individuals defined as mentally ill. Social class was defined through the application of educational level and occupational status. The data obtained from the Riverview Hospital covered a two year period from April 1, 1965 through March 31, 1967. Three main hypotheses were formulated to deal with the following topics: (1) The relationship between social class and employment. (2) The relationship between social class and duration of illness prior to admission to hospital. (3) The relationship between social class and contact with family or relatives. Significant trends were found to exist. Representative of these were: (1) Relating social class and employment before admission to hospital and following discharge from hospital, more higher class subjects than lower class subjects were employed before admission to and following discharge from hospital. (2) Relating social class and the period of mental illness prior to hospitalization, the results show more higher class subjects than lower class hospitalized within a one year period for psychotic mental illness. The findings of this research project support the stated hypotheses, confirm the results shown by other studies, opened new areas for further research, and indicated possible application of findings for social work practice.

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