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July 1967

Differential Effects of Ward Settings on Psychiatric Staff

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif
From the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Palo Alto Veterans Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(1):75-82. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730250077011

THERE has been relatively little empirical research attempting to discover to what extent psychiatric ward staff react differently to different ward settings. Clearly, there are varied subsettings in the ward milieu, and it is likely that these subsettings have different effects on different staff members.

Previous studies of the effects of different settings on individual behavior suggest the possibility that ward settings might elicit consistently different reactions in staff. For example, Gump and Kounin1 have studied children in camp settings and have reported one study in which the behavior of eight campers was recorded as they participated in swims, cookouts, and dining hall settings.2 The frequency of hostile acts by each camper increased as he went from swim to cook-out; usually it increased very sharply. For all boys except one, this frequency increased again as they went from cook-out to dining hall. Different