August 1967

Responsibility as a Personality Characteristic

Author Affiliations

Bryn Mawr, Pa
From the Graduate Department of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(2):169-175. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730260041006

FOR SEVERAL YEARS we have been investigating personality characteristics of clients in public welfare agencies with the expectation of discovering psychological attributes that are uniquely associated with these people. In the process of examining this assumption through the study of client behavior, we realized that one of the character traits we had deciphered, while indeed typical of these clients, was a character trait found to a greater or lesser degree in all people who live in industrialized and urbanized societies. It has not been more noticed previously because it functions to prevent persons from successfully seeking and utilizing psychiatric and psychological treatment, and it is thereby less typical of persons who have been subjected to research within usual clinical settings. In this paper we describe this personality characteristic in theoretical terms; illustrate different manifestations of the characteristic with a series of categories and examples; and

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