Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.




Self-referrals to a mental health facility were compared to a group of other-referrals on four measures: the Mental Health Locus of Origin Scale, the Mental Health Locus of Control Scale, the Personality Research Form, and the Help-Seeking Information Questionnaire. It was hypothesized that self-referrals would be more internal and independent than the other-referrals. Confirmation of this hypothesis was obtained. Self-referrals differed significantly from other-referrals in their beliefs about the etiology of mental health problems as measured by the Mental Health Locus of Origin Scale. Other-referrals revealed an external orientation by attributing emotional distress to endogenous factors. Self-referrals demonstrated more of an internal orientation by attributing distress to interactional factors. Expectations for the therapeutic relationship were studied on the Mental Health Locus of Control Scale. Self-referrals viewed the relationship as a working partnership, where the responsibility for decision-making rested with the patient. Other-referrals appeared to be seeking a didactic relationship, one where the therapist made most decisions. Self-referrals differed from other-referrals in their abilities for problem recognition, reasons for referral, and degree of independence in the therapeutic relationship. As compared to other-referrals, self-referrals recognized their problems more often, were more willing to acknowledge a psychological basis for their referral, more often selected their own therapist, and more often set their own criterion for determining when therapy should terminate. Other-referrals tended to have their problems pointed out to them, were reluctant to define their difficulties in psychological terms, assumed a more passive, dependent role in the decision-making process, and relied on the therapist to be assigned and to determine when therapy should end. Self-referrals also differed from other-referrals in degree of autonomy from support networks. Self-referrals were more open to discussing their contact with the mental health facility than other-referrals, but they waited until after the first interview to do so. This finding serves as another illustration of their greater autonomy and independence. Other-referrals' greater dependence on their personal and professional networks was clearly evident. More often they came to the clinic in response to a suggestion by a member of their network system that they should obtain professional assistance from the mental health facility. Other-referrals were more likely to come to the clinic after consulting another professional, usually their family physician, who referred them to the clinic. Other-referrals contacted more additional professionals than self-referrals.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1986 .D947. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 47-05, Section: B, page: 2158. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1986.