Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The subject of psychiatric diagnosis and the ramifications of a person being labeled as "mentally ill" has attracted increased attention in the past decade. Personal testimony from psychiatric patients about the difficulty in securing employment, returning to familiar abodes, and re-entering a scholastic environment because of rejection by "normal" society, has been documented in confidential case files, witnessed by friends and relatives, and published for lay consumption (Rubin, 1960; Salinger, 1951; and Green, 1964). Other literature has been devoted to the apparently negative psychological aspects of being an in-patient in a mental institution (Caudwill, 1958; Goffman, 1961; and Gordon, 1971). Some of the issues have been raised by young physicians at the commencement of their careers in psychiatry (Willner, 1971); however, much pressure is being exerted concerning the process of labeling a person with a clinical psychodiagnosis by the practicing psychiatrists (Menninger, 1963; Laing, 1971; and Szasz, 1961, 1968, 1970a, and 1970b).


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Speech and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts.