Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Simmons, Christina,


History, United States.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The Merrill-Palmer Motherhood and Home Training School was founded in 1919. It operated independently until the 1970's, when it was absorbed by Wayne State University. Lizzie Merrill-Palmer founded the School with the intention of providing homemaking training to young girls, but over the years the School expanded its services. In my thesis I will focus on the Merrill-Palmer staff and their clients from 1920 to 1970. Through the years, the social workers and the clients both tried to achieve some measure of control or power in their relationship. This interaction was significantly influenced by the factors of race, class, and ethnicity. The social workers and their clients were affected by prevailing gender concepts in American society. The Merrill-Palmer staff justified their position as career women through their professional status. The staff, however, promoted traditional gender roles to their clients. In my thesis, I wish to demonstrate how changes in American society, combined with the factors of race, class, ethnicity and gender, affected the social worker/client relationship. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of History, Philosophy, and Political Science. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1993 .B455. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 32-04, page: 1130. Chair: Christina Simmons. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.