Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Walker, Albert, 1920-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Journalism


Children--Institutional care


The purposes of the study were to determine the acceptance and role(s) of a large residential child-care institution within a suburban community. The study focuses on how attitudes and public opinion may affect the community's acceptance of the institution and influence the institution's role(s) within the community. The study was conducted using survey research to test nine hypotheses relating to the residents' attitudes toward rapid changes in society and how these attitudes affect the residents' acceptance of the institution. One hypothesis examined how the residents' knowledge of the institution affected their acceptance of the institution. A tenth hypothesis examined how the residents' attitudes and opinions affected the role(s) of the institution. The hypotheses were tested with survey research methods and intensive interviews. Each of the subdivision's 144 households received two questionnaires (male and female). The questionnaire had been pretested by members of the homeowners' association and distributed by the homeowners' association. A 36 percent response was received. The data were analyzed on an IBM 360 computer using the Statistical Package for Social Science programs. To determine the significance of relationships, the chi-square statistic was used with a confidence level of .05. The findings revealed that a majority of the respondents accepted the institution or did not verbalize negative feelings about the institution. The following factors appear to affect the respondents' acceptance of the institution: 1. The respondents who are well informed about the institution are more likely to find the institution unacceptable than those respondents who are inadequately or inaccurately informed about the institution's sponsorship, function, size, and composition of its population. 2. The respondents with three or more school-age children are more likely to find the institution unacceptable than those respondents with only one or two school-age children. 3. A majority of the respondents who found the institution unacceptable cited the need for stricter control of the students. The following factors appear not to affect the respondents' acceptance of the institution: 1. The respondents' attitudes toward changes in American society morally, politically, religiously, and economically within the last year. The majority of the respondents felt that American society had weakened in each of the areas. 2. The respondents' attitudes toward open housing, school desegregation, and voting rights. Their attitudes toward equal opportunity employment and their acceptance of the institution could not be determined because of inadequate data. The majority of the respondents did not object to any of the civil rights laws. With 60 percent of the institution's population classified as minority group members, the respondents appear relatively free of group membership prejudice.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes map.


viii, 95 pages




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