Sociology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-18-1959


This thesis is a comparative study of the effects of the social environments of two types of schools on the acculturation process among Mescalero Apache Indian high school students. The two types of schools were an Indian boarding school, located some distance from the reservation, and integrated public schools, located in small town near the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation. The Indian school removes the children from the home environment and its influences but places them where the opportunity for social interaction with members of the "Anglo" society is greater.

English language skill was used not only as an index of present acculturation but also as an indication of the potential of the group for these processes in the immediate future. The Mescalero Indian students were given a prepared test which was scored quantitatively. The data were then subjected to statistical analysis. The Mescalero Indian students, officials and teachers of the schools involved, and officials and employees of the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation were interviewed concerning the students' use of English, their social adjustment in the schools, and observed differences between the students who attend the different types of schools.

This study indicates that there may be a lack of interaction between the Mescalero Indian students in the public schools and the "Anglo" students in those schools. The potentialities for further acculturation in the dominant "Anglo" society are limited by the fact that the Mescalero students, on the average, are not obtaining "satisfactory" levels of English language skills by the time they reach the high school level. Until such levels in these English language skills are reached in these grades, it might be expected that the Mescalero tribe will continue to be seriously handicapped in attaining the goals of social and economic development hoped for by the tribal leaders and the officials of the Indian Service.

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Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Paul Walter Jr.

Second Committee Member

Tom Taketo Sasaki

Third Committee Member

Harry Wetherald Basehart


Mescalero Apache, Acculturation, Public School Education, American Indian Boarding Schools, Appropriation, Assimilation

Document Type