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Americans View Their Mental Health, 1957 (ICPSR 3503)

Principal Investigator(s): Gurin, Gerald; Veroff, Joseph; Feld, Sheila


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.

Access Notes

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Study Description


Gurin, Gerald, Joseph Veroff, and Sheila Feld. Americans View Their Mental Health, 1957. ICPSR03503-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1975. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03503.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03503.v1

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  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    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

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1957

Date of Collection:   

  • 1957 (spring)

Universe:    Americans aged 21 years and older living in private households in the United States in 1957.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Produced by the University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research, Survey Research Center, 1957.


Sample:    Multistage area probability sample.

Data Source:

personal interviews

Extent of Processing:   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.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-10

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