Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Burchard, Waldo W.||Moore, Douglas M. (Professor of sociology)

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology and Anthropology


Self; Mentally ill--Colorado--Employment


A study was undertaken of the changes in the self concept of mental patients of differing prognosis for recovery after participation in an innovative program of paid, industrial work as therapy. The data were available from a four year research project conducted at Fort Logan Mental Health Center in Denver, Colorado for the evaluation of work therapy. Patients were randomly assigned to participation in the work therapy program and to a control group which did not receive work therapy upon admittance to the hospital. As soon as possible after entrance into the sample each patient was tested with the Miskimins Self-Goal-Other scale, an objective measure of attitudes toward the self. Patients were retested using the same scale after their return to the community, about three months later. The prognosis of each patient was determined using a scale developed by the project and patients with the best and poorest prognoses in each were selected for comparison. It was hypothesized that (1) comparing the poor prognosis patients, the work therapy participants would improve more than the non-participants, (2) of good prognosis patients the participants would improve more, (3) of the control group the patients with good prognosis would improve more, and (4) of the participants those of poor prognosis would improve more although the good prognosis patients might have better re-test self concept scores. It was further hypothesized that there would be no significant difference among the groups in numbers of patients readmitted to the hospital after their release. A Trend Analysis of the MSGO scores confirmed only the second and fourth hypotheses. The poor prognosis participants were found to have improved significantly less than the similar control group patients and significantly less than good prognosis participants. No significant differences were found for the readmission comparison. It was concluded that work therapy was most beneficial in improving the self concept problems typical of good prognosis patients and not helpful to the self concept difficulties associated with poor prognosis. Various issues in the relationship of self concept to working were explored.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 94 pages, 7 unnumbered pages




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