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Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
This study was designed to provide information about the clergyman's conception of mental health. In view of the fact clergymen are frequently consulted by those who are emotionally disturbed, a study of their role in the mental health profession is highly significant. In order to secure information, questionnaires were mailed to 419 clergymen. The clergymen chosen were those whose names were listed in the latest annuals of the United Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, and the American Baptist Churches, who resided in Kansas west of highway 81 and in Colorado east of highway 85. One hundred sixty-five clergymen responded, 129 completely and accurately enough to be included in the study. Although the questionnaires provided an opportunity for the clergyman to tell a great deal about himself and his conception of mental health, the primary interest of this study was the information the clergymen held about mental health, their practices of referral, the relationship of these variables to one another, and their relationship to age. The results showed no significant correlation between the age and the accuracy-of-information. The correlation of accuracy-of-information and attitude-toward-referral was positive but not significant. There was an inverse relationship between age and attitude- toward-referral. (r =-.30) The younger the respondent the more likely his attitude-toward-referral was "positive." This was significant at the .01 level. The most important factor related to accuracy- of- information and/or attitude-toward-referral was education and training. This was not number of years spent in college or seminary but specific courses related to mental health and the days spent in conferences, workshops, and institutes related to mental health. The conclusion was that the clergyman's best preparation for counseling is a systematic program of psychological studies and professional super vision in working face-to-face with people.
Copyright 1963 Ernest Elim Lawson
Lawson, Ernest Elim, "The Clergyman's Conception of Mental Health" (1963). Master's Theses. 820.