Individual, Family, and Community Education ETDs

Publication Date

Winter 12-27-1971


The nature of this study was three-fold: (a) histor­ical, (b) statistical, and (c) descriptive.

New Mexico is one of nine states with written cri­teria for a point system 􀀰or admission of retardates to institutions from waiting lists. The historical portion of this study presented a background of the three insti­tutions in New Mexico and the development of the point priority system upon which their admission procedures are based.

The statistical analyses were utilized to test the admission procedures of the three institutions over the past five fiscal years.

A comprehensive study of waiting list applicants and institutionalized retardates had· not been conducted in New Mexico previously. The descriptive portion of this study presented a comprehensive analyses of these cate­gories of retardates. The analyses revealed the occur­rence of retardation for each county in New Mexico.

Data for these analyses were obtained from Los Lunas Hospital, Fort Stanton Hospital, and Villa Solano School from April, 1970 to October, 1971.

A Waiting List Log was devised by this investigator while obtaining data for the study. The Log was devised to serve as a more functional method of listing and re­cording data of applicants on the centralized waiting list for reporting purposes.

The statistical analyses compared data of two groups of retardates: (a) 423 waiting list applicants; and (b) 402 retardates admitted to Los Lunas Hospital and its two satellite facilities during the past five fiscal years. A total of 43 chi square computations were applied to five null hypotheses. These stated that there would be no difference an admission patterns between the two categories according to five variables: (a) judicial district, (b) ethnic group, (c) etiology, (d) level of retardation, and (e) sex.

The descriptive analyses utilized charts and tables to describe data of retardates in four categories: (a) waiting list, (b) admitted, (c) 709 in-residence, and (d) a combined total of 1132 on the waiting list and in-resi­dence. The descriptive charts listed data for each cate­gory by selected variables for each county. The tabular presentations listed data for one or more variables in each category.

Four of the five major null hypotheses were accepted. These predicted no difference in admission procedures by judicial district, ethnic group, etiology, and level of retardation. The hypothesis predicting no difference in admission procedures for males and females was rejected.

Sub-hypotheses were also rejected which predicted no difference in admission procedures for the. following:· (a) Judicial District 5, (b) Indian ethnic group, and retardation caused by (c) anoximia at birth, (d) _congen­ital cerebral defect, and (e) cultural familial factors.

Although a disparity in admission procedures was revealed by some sub-hypotheses, it was concluded that, in general, the admission procedures were equitable for waiting list applicants. The Judicial District 5 issue was caused by a "strong regional overlay" used to admit retardates when the satellite facilities opened. The Indian ethnic group disparity was inexplicable. The disparity in admission procedures for the three medical causes was due primarily to the lack of cottages for the. severely retarded. The inequality in admission of females was due to the preponderance of males over females on the waiting list and in the institution.

The following conclusions were also made, based on the population of retardates studied:

1. The proportion of female retardates in the severe and profound levels was greater than the propor­tion of male retardates in the same levels.

2. There was a disproportionately higher number of retardates in the Spanish-Surnamed group than in the other ethnic groups.

3. Each of the four ethnic groups had the highest number of retardates occurring in different levels of retardation: (a) Anglo - severe, (b) Black - moderate, (c) Indian - severe and profound, and (d) Spanish­ Surnamed - moderate and severe levels.

4. Retardation was caused more frequently by post­natal cerebral infection than by other causes.

5. Firm diagnoses of retardation are difficult to make. More than one third of the population of retard­ates was listed as having an unknown or uncertain cause.

6. Almost half of the retardates on the waiting list was from the poverty income level. Half of the applicants in the Black, Indian, and Spanish-Surnamed ethnic groups was in the two lower income levels. Over half of the applicants in the Anglo ethnic group was in the two higher income levels.

7. Only 5% of the estimated retarded in the State are seeking or receiving care in· public institutions for the retarded. This percentage represents only one tenth of one percent of the general population of New Mexico.

8. It was finally concluded that this study answers, for New Mexico, the question posed by Soloyanis.(1959): "What kind of mentally retarded persons become institu­tionalized as compared to those who do not?"

Document Type




First Committee Member (Chair)

Robert Micali

Second Committee Member

Louis Charles Bernardoni

Third Committee Member

John Anthony Aragon

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