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Thesis (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded



Deinstitutionalization of mental health services for the severely emotionally disturbed has radically altered the lives of many chronic schizophrenics who might otherwise have persisted in careers as mental patients. The shift towards maintaining these individuals in the community has enabled some of them to carry on more normal and gratifying lives. Within the context of deinstitutionalization, an increasinq awareness of the rights of chronic schizophrenics to develop sexual relationships has also been important. One impact of this development has been that in recent years more men and women who have been diagnosed chronic schizophrenic have had opportunities to interact socially in halfway houses and other treatment settings. In some cases, committed heterosexual couples relationships, including marriages, have resulted. Despite the increased occurrence of chronic schizophrenic couples, their relationships have yet to be systematically studied. The purpose of this thesis is to provide such an investigation.