Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies


Mental illness is a major drain on all types of productivity in the world. In the United States alone there are 63,226 patients in mental hospitals and another 174,727 in homes or schools for the mentally retarded. (1) South Dakota’s figures read 1,981 patients in mental hospitals and 895 in homes or schools for the mentally retarded. (2) The rehabilitation of these people would result in millions of dollars being saved plus the avoidance of untold sorrow and hardship for the patients and their families. A great deal of work is being done to rehabilitate the mental patient so he can be released. The success of this work is shown the estimate that there are millions of ex-mental patients in the American population. (3) These patients are released, but are they accepted in to society or are they merely replaced into their original environments which may have contributed to their mental illness in the first place? Recent theories contribute mental illness more and more to social and cultural causes rather than organic causes. The present study attempts an epidemiological approach to the topic of mental illness, but it utilizes social rather that physical or geographical factors. (see more in text)

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Mental illness
Mentally ill -- Rehabilitation
Social problems




South Dakota State University