Social indicators and mental health planning: An empirical case study
- Cite this article as:
- Warheit, G.J., Holzer, C.E. & Robbins, L. Community Ment Health J (1979) 15: 94. doi:10.1007/BF00757331
This paper reports data from a series of studies designed to provide an empirical basis for making judgments regarding the utility and validity of social indicators as a method for assessing the need for mental health services. The following findings are included: (a) The methodological sophistication of the social indicators approach used did not greatly affect the utility of the technique as a means of identifying low- and high-need subareas in a large standard metropolitan statistical area. (b) Correlations between social indicator rankings of tracts/enumeration districts and mental health needs as determined by psychiatric scale scores varied in two different counties. (c) The degree of tract/district socioecological homogeneity appears to account for the diverse correlations. (d) Tract and enumeration district social indicator rankings uniquely account for less than .50% of the explained variance of individual mental health scores when analyzed in a regression equation which includes socioeconomic status as a variable.