A test of the utility of social indicators for behavioral health service planning

Jeanette Goodstein, Alex Zautra, Darlene Goodhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Given current imperatives for more effective, responsive, and economical government, policy planners and administrators are seeking increasing assistance from social scientists. Here the usefulness of social indicators to the processes of policy planning and implementation in the delivery of mental health, alcohol and drug abuse services is investigated to determine whether social indicator data can contribute to more effective policy planning. In a two part study, the relationship between social indicators and Specific sources of these data were: population total, subdivided by geographic area and race (Caucasian, Black, and Other, which in Arizona is virtually all Native Americans) from the 1975 special census; population by age and ratio of dissolutions to marriages from the Arizona Statistical Review for 1977; crime rates from the Arizona State Justice Planning Agency for 1975; and cause of death rates from the Bureau of Vital Statistics, Arizona Department of Health Services for 1975. Subjective measures of psychological well-being were not available for the internal validational component of the study. state wide service utilization rates and The Negative Affect Scale measures the individual's level of anxiety, worry, loneliness, and sadness, and is associated with other measures that have been used in epidemiological studies to identify persons with psychological difficulties. The Psychiatric Screening Inventory assesses an individual's level of psychiatric impairment as evidenced by the frequency with which he or she reports having experienced each of the 22 psychological and psychosomatic symptoms on the scale. It has also been used in numerous epidemiological studies to investigated levels of impairment among various populations. The Positive Affect Scale reflects the degree to which the person is involved with, interested in, and experiences control over his or her physical and social environment. Active involvement with the world and frequent social participation are considered to be conducive to the experience of positive affect. The Perceived Quality of Life Scale measures the degree to which the persons is satisfied with the quality of his or her life. The score on this scale is a composite of the respondent's level of satisfaction in different areas of life such as standard of living, health, personal functioning, and family life. The greater the satisfaction in these separate areas, the higher will be the individual's overall evaluation of the quality of his or her life. psychological well-being in the community is examined. Both objective and subjective social indicators were studied. Both types of indicators were found to be useful and complementary in identifying service needs and states of well-being in the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-295
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'A test of the utility of social indicators for behavioral health service planning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this