UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social class and hospitalizaiton for mental illness Bonner, Kenneth Ralph


The pioneer study of A. B. Hollingshead and F. C. Redlich, recorded in their book, Social Class and Mental Illness, indicates that social class is related to a number of factors pertaining to mental illness. Subsequent studies prompted by this work have examined some of these factors. All of these investigations were carried out in the United States in various mental health settings. It became our purpose to examine the relevance of these factors in a Canadian mental hospital setting. Three hypotheses were postulated. First, that social class would be related to the type of treatment received in the hospital. Second, that the duration of stay in the hospital would be related to social class. And, third, that the patient's level of improvement upon discharge from the hospital would be related to social class. Routinely collected data from Riverview Provincial Mental Hospital were used to test these hypotheses. No statistically significant relationships were found between social class and of the three dependent variables. However, it was noted that the higher social class levels of psychotics, as measured by the educational index, seemed to receive more electro-convulsive therapy and group therapy than was the case with any other diagnostic category. Possibly this trend could be persued in subsequent studies. Also, duration of stay was not considered to be an important variable because of the relatively short stay of the majority of all persons admitted to the hospital. It was concluded that the definition of treatment was too narrow. Electroconvulsive therapy and group therapy were the most amenable to statistical examination. However, it is widely recognized that milieu therapy is a major form of treatment in Riverview Hospital and therefore, should be included in any consideration of treatment in subsequent studies.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.