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Americans View Their Mental Health, 1957

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Gurin, Gerald
  • Veroff, Joseph
  • Feld, Sheila
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health
Free Keywords
achievement; adjustment; adults; attitudes; careers; counseling services; demographic characteristics; failure; health attitudes; health behavior; interpersonal conflict; jobs satisfaction; leisure; marriage; memberships; mental disorders; mental health; personal adjustment; psychological wellbeing; quality of life; religious affiliation; self evaluation; social interaction; social roles; work attitudes
  • Abstract

    In 1957, the United States Congress established the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health to evaluate the nation's resources for coping with both the psychological and economic problems of mental illness. The Commission sponsored a nationwide survey, which was conducted by the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan, to assess the subjective mental health of "normal" American adults and to determine in detail how they coped with problems of adjustment. During the spring of 1957, a sample of American adults was interviewed on various areas in which problems might arise, including marriage, parenthood, employment, and general social relationships. Information about leisure time, past and present physical and mental health, and motives for affiliation, achievement, and power were also sought. Three questionnaire forms were employed, each addressed to a randomly selected third of the sample.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Standardized missing values.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1957
  • Collection date: 1957
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Americans aged 21 years and older living in private households in the United States in 1957.
Multistage area probability sample.
Collection Mode
  • Produced by the University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research, Survey Research Center, 1957.

This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3503 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR03503.v1
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    • ID: (URL)
  • Hughes, Michael. Parenthood and Psychological Well-Being among the Formerly Married: Are Children the Primary Source of Psychological Distress?. Journal of Family Issues.10, (4), 463-481.1989.
    • ID: 10.1177/019251389010004003 (DOI)
  • McLanahan, Sara, Adams, Julia. The Effects of Children on Adults' Psychological Well-Being: 1957-1976. Social Forces.68, (1), 124-146.1989.
    • ID: (URL)
  • McLanahan, Sara S., Glass, Jennifer L.. A note on the trend in sex differences in psychological distress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior.26, (4), 328-336.1985.
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    • ID: 10.1177/0002716282464001008 (DOI)
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  • Tamir, Lois M., Antonucci, Toni C.. Self-Perception, Motivation, and Social Support Through the Family Life Course. Journal of Marriage and Family.43, (1), 151-160.1981.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Veroff, Joseph, Douvan, Elizabeth, Kulka, Richard A.. The Inner American: A Self-Portrait from 1957 to 1976. New York: Basic Books. 1981.
  • Veroff, Joseph, Douvan, Elizabeth, Kulka, Richard A.. The Inner American: A Self-portrait from 1957-1976. New York: Basic Books. 1981.
  • Veroff, Joseph, Kulka, Richard A., Douvan, Elizabeth. Mental Health in America: Patterns of Help-seeking from 1957 to 1976. New York: Basic Books. 1981.
  • Converse, Philip E., Dotson, Jean D., Hoag, Wendy J., McGee, William H., III. American Social Attitudes Data Sourcebook, 1947-1978. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1980.
  • Fox, John W.. Gove's Specific Sex-Role Theory of Mental Illness: A Research Note. Journal of Health and Social Behavior.21, (3), 260-267.1980.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Kulka, Richard A., Veroff, Joseph, Douvan, Elizabeth. Social class and the use of professional help for personal problems: 1957 and 1976. Journal of Health and Social Behavior.20, (1), 2-17.1979.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Gurin, Gerald, Veroff, Joseph, Feld, Shiela. Americans view their mental health. Marriage and Work in America: A Study of Motives and Roles.New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. 1970.
  • Jackson, Elton F., Fox, William S., Crockett, Harry J., Jr.. Religion and occupational achievement. American Sociological Review.35, (1), 48-63.1970.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Veroff, Joseph, Feld, Sheila, Crockett, Harry. Explorations into the effects of picture cues on thematic apperceptive expressions of achievement motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.3, (2), 171-181.1966.
    • ID: 10.1037/h0022908 (DOI)
  • Jackson, Elton F., Burke, Peter J.. Status and symptoms of stress: Additive and interaction effects. American Sociological Review.30, (4), 556-564.1965.
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  • Jackson, Elton F., Crockett, Harry J., Jr.. Occupational mobility in the United States: A point estimate and trend comparison. American Sociological Review.29, (1), 5-15.1964.
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  • Lazerwitz, Bernard, Rowitz, Louis. The three-generations hypothesis. American Journal of Sociology.69, (5), 529-538.1964.
    • ID: 10.1086/223656 (DOI)
  • Veroff, Joseph, Feld, Sheila, Gurin, Gerald. Achievement motivation and religious background. American Sociological Review.27, (2), 205-217.1962.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Veroff, Joseph, Feld, Sheila, Gurin, Gerald. Dimensions of subjective adjustment. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology.64, (3), 192-205.1962.
  • Veroff, Joseph. Thematic apperception in a nationwide sample survey. Contemporary Issues in Thematic Apperceptive Methods.springfield, IL: Thomas. 1961.
  • Gurin, Gerald, Veroff, Joseph, Field, Sheila. Americans view their mental health: A nation-wide interview study. New York: Basic Books. 1960.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Gurin, Gerald; Veroff, Joseph; Feld, Sheila (1984): Americans View Their Mental Health, 1957. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.