Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Dr. M.J. Dear


This study is concerned with analysing the effect of the state in influencing policy outcomes within the field of mental health care. An historical-hermeneutic approach is adopted and this require a theoretical investigation of the state and its apparatuses in capitalism; an historical review of mental health care; the formulation of propositions to be tested; and the empirical investigation of the propositions. Trends within mental health care are examined over the period 1960-1979 using the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital as a sample of the trends in Ontario. A Cochrane-Orcutt least squares regression model is used to link these trends to indicators of the propositions. Supplementary descriptive data are also examined to incorporate trends outside the hospital. The results reveal the importance of the current fiscal crisis of the state in influencing mental health care policy outcomes. An increasing number of state apparatuses, including the mental health professionals and their ideologies, are required to legitimate the deinstitutionalization policy, which aims more to avert the fiscal crisis of the state than to benefit the health of mentally ill patients.

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