Mental health needs assessment with social indicators: An empirical case study

Orman Hall, David Royse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This article reports the results of a study designed to determine the relationship between measures of socioeconomic status and admissions to public mental hospitals in the state of Ohio. The authors found that a strong relationship (R=.784) exists between an aggregate of six variables from the 1980 census and county admission rates over a six-year period. It was hypothesized that two factors may account for this unusually high correlation. First, the vast majority of social indicator research has utilized the official rate of unemployment as the primary measure of occupational stability. One potential problem with this variable is a lack of sensitivity for those persons who have suffered from extended episodes of unemployment and who therefore have been dropped from unemployment roles and who do not appear in unemployment statistics. Second, the authors excluded counties with state hospitals from the regression analysis as a control for disproportionate geographic accessibility, a variable which has been largely overlooked in recent social indicator research. The multiple correlation found in this study suggests that multitudinous social indicators are not required and that a small set of variables can be powerfully predictive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalAdministration in Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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