Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies


To say that the problems of aging are universal, touching all of all culture at one time or another, appears to be something of a truism. Yet, short of birth and death, scarcely any part of the pattern of living affects all mankind to so great degree. With added years come decrease in physical vigor, declining health, and increased imminence of death- all conditions to which the aging must adjust. In American society these problems are particularly acute, largely because of the predominantly urban and industrial character of our culture. In South Dakota, particularly, growing numbers of elder citizens give cause for increasing concern with their problems. While the total populations of South Dakota declined by 5.8 percent between 1930 and 1950, during the same period the number of persons 65 years old and older increased by 49.8 percent. This study follows a similar study made at South Dakota State College by Denton E. Morrison in which an attempt was made to assess the personal adjustment of older citizens living in private residences in the rural-nonfarm community of Dell Rapids, South Dakota. The present study proceeds on four basic assumptions, three of which follow Morrison. First, it is assumed that communities are not homogeneous biologically, culturally, or in their social organization. Second assumption shared with the previous study is that personal adjustment can be both measured and quantified. A third assumption of both studies is that different respondents mean essentially the same things by similar responses. The final departs from the Morrison study in the definition of age, the criterion of 65 years and over being used by Morrison.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Old age homes -- South Dakota
Older people -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references




South Dakota State University