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February 1967

Work, Play, and Emotional Disturbance: An Examination of Environment and Disturbance

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH (Dr. Segal), and the Department of Sociology, New York University, New York (Dr. Phillips).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(2):173-179. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730200041006

IN an earlier paper, we dealt with some of the costs and gains resulting from the obvious tension arising from trying to satisfy two valued sources of gratification on a college campus: the instrumental pursuit of academic excellence and the more expressive behavior involved in participating in an active social life.1 Our findings revealed that although students who consciously set aside opportunities to obtain gratification from social sources in order to realize academic gain did experience more academic satisfaction, they were also more likely to be discontented with their social life. Even more interesting, however, was the demonstration that there were other costs in this pattern of "deferred gratification," as we called it. Not only were the deferrers less socially satisfied but they had poorer mental health.

In the present paper we go beyond these earlier findings in an attempt to understand more