Date of Award

6-1959

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Dr. G.R. Pascal

Committee Members

Dr. W.O. Jenkins, Dr. C.H. Swenson, Dr. G.K.D. Wantling, & Dr. L.M. DeRidder

Abstract

The problem in this investigation is a behavioral comparison of a group of alcoholics and non-alcoholics. The primary purpose of these comparisons is to generate hypotheses about covariate factors related to alcoholism and secondly to gain understanding about the etiology of the alcoholic process. Three steps were involved in carrying out these purposes: (1) defining alcoholism behaviorally, (2) ascertaining current functioning of the subjects, (3) ascertaining early learning experiences. Alcoholism is the dependent variable--criterion--of this investigation. A quantifiable behavioral drinking scale developed by Jenkins and Davis (15) yielded scores which defined the criterion. The U-T Deprivation Scale was used to assess aspects of the subjects' current functioning, thus permitting identification of gross behaviors covarying with the criterion. The Pascal-Jenkins Behavioral Scales were employed to determine if differential early experiences could account for the formation of alcoholism by operating as independent variables. Lothrop (18) has done a study comparable to the present one. He investigated the behavioral characteristics of intractable duodenal ulcer cases. As with the present study, he made behavioral comparisons of ulcer cases and controls, identifying covariate behavior with the dependent variable (ulcer) and other behaviors (exercise, employment, etc.) which he judged to be independent variables rendering the ulcer intractible to cure. His design is essentially that of the present one, barring modification of certain procedures.

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