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A reply to this must be made in the affirmative. A grant program which is directed to the social sciences should be broad enough to include the social scientists making investigations in the applied fields of social welfare.
Two years ago Congress passed legislation making possible allocation of funds to the Social Security Administration for social welfare research. The funds, however, have not been made available. This program should be implemented because it could lead to very important information on which legislative actions for health and personal service programs could be based.-Wilma Donahue.
There is certainly a need to support some social welfare research in aging. As indicated above, however, this is an aspect of geriatrics rather than gerontology, and should be included in any contemplated governmental programs for care of the aged.-H. H. Draper.
Social welfare constitutes an integral part of the overall complex constituting the process of aging and the aged in the United States. The role of welfare programs in affecting the health status, income level, housing situation, and many other aspects of the aged persons' living patterns is well known. Any research program on the aged must, therefore, be able to encompass social welfare research. The important point is that such research should be done by competent research personnel rather than by persons whose major training has been in the administration of social welfare programs.—Sidney Goldstein.
There is a need to support social welfare research on aging. A particularly critical area is the question of the adequacy of institutions available for aged persons who are no longer able to maintain independent households. By contrast with some of the European countries the United States is far behind in the development of special housing projects and institutions for older people.Margaret S. Gordon.
Undoubtedly there is need for support of social welfare research on aging but the best contribution of the social scientist is usually as a member of a multidisciplinary team approaching broad community based studies.—Albert V. Hardy.
I do not question but that there is a need for social welfare research on aging.Harry F. Harlow.
Social welfare research is necessary, especially the kind that evaluates the results of various policies with respect to social security, social centers, old-age clubs, health services, and housing arrangements for older people. Some of this is being supported by the Ford Foundation, but more should be supported if well-designed research projects become available for support.—Robert J. Havighurst.
Questions Nos. 1 and 9. There are some specific instances of need to support social aspects of aging. In the past it is apparent that many projects have been supported which should not be.—Edgar P. Jayne.
Most emphatically yes.-Robert B. Johnston.
There is very great need to support public welfare research in aging. During the past several years the gerontological society has been wrestling with the problem of finding an adequate avenue for the publication of research in social welfare and social work. Serious attention was given to the establishment of a new journal in this area, but an active attempt to locate a body of such researchneeding publication failed to justify the step. This experience leads inescapably to the conclusion that research in this area which would meet rigorous scientific criteria is almost nonexistent. This, more than anything else, leads me to protest against this appalling lack of research effort in this field and to urge that immediate steps be taken to correct this situation.-Robert W. Kleemeier.
It is my understanding that the Ford Foundation is supporting social welfare research on aging. Under these circumstances, I should prefer to see NIH continue to orient their support in the direction of more basic research. The distinction is not always a sharp one, however.-Nathan Kogan.
I would agree that some social welfare research should be supported, but that many such research proposals should be given careful scrutiny, not only by people in the social welfare field but by people who are proven and established scientists.-Ross C. Kory.
Definitely yes.-C. J. Leblond.
Of course. -John W. Magladery.
Support of social welfare research. I believe that I have expressed my thoughts on this subject in preceding statements.—Donald Mainland.
There is need for greater support of social welfare research projects which seek to evaluate current operating programs. There are many programs operating in the fields of housing, rehabilitation, counseling, institutional and home care, and other social service fields, and such programs need to be examined objectively in the light of their stated objectives. We are far from certain, for example, whether particular types of housing, living arrangements, and nursing homes are, in fact, best suited to the needs of the aged, and we lack a great deal of information as to just what the needs of the older people are and the extent to which current social service programs are meeting these needs. It is essential that the experience of such programs be analyzed in order to test the validity of the assumptions on which they are based, and to develop maximum efficiency in the operation of those programs which are based on correct assumptions.-J. W. McConnell and Fred Slavick.
In regard to support for social welfare research in the field of aging, I believe this to be an important area. As one example, I would like to know how many family situations involving young married couples are “broken up” by older persons joining their homes because of financial reasons. This is one of many other problems which concerns the financial competence of the older members of our society who need financial aid.—Ross A. McFarland.
I should suppose that social welfare is an area primarily for the administration of services and support. It should render informational reports regularly, but I do not see how it can do its job and at the same time engage in research which, if it amounts to anything, must be uncommitted, impartial, unemotional. The criticisms of scientists against clinical medical research are even more serious here.—Robert T. Monroe.
Although social welfare research on aging is much to be desired, unless properly supervised, such research can degenerate in the usual interminable questionnaires, tabulations, and meaningless statistical analyses.
I wonder if it is proper, here, to grind my ax and to suggest that an extensive senjor fellowship program be established by the proper agencies that would provide a good yearly salary for retired, but active scholars. Such a fellowship system should be labile enough to include also scholars who are approaching retirement age, and who would like to devote their remaining years entirely to scholarly pursuits.— William Montagna.
Yes.—Matthew T. Moore.
Probably.-Robert W. Mowry.
I would approve of support of social welfare research on aging.–Dorothy Price.
Social welfare research in aging, like the biological aspects of aging, requires greater support.-Ernest Retzlaff.
Social welfare research should be supported, but it would seem wise to proceed slowly at the Federal level, allowing private foundation support to take up the slack in this area until a more definite program has evolved.--John Robert Ring.
I do not know, but would guess that such research is needed, if competent interested researchers are available.—Morris Rockstein.
Yes.-James B. Rogers.
Action research in connection with social welfare programs on aging is highly desirable. By properly designing such studies, they can contribute to basic knowledge as well as to tests of the efficacy of the social welfare programs. I do not mean to suggest that these should be the only kinds of research the Government should sponsor. but they have a proper role in the total programs of researches sponsored by Government. I am attaching a copy of an article I wrote 10 years ago on the possibilities of action research in general.—Arnold M. Rose,
It is my feeling that there are adequate public and private sources for social welfare research now available. At this stage channeling of funds into more basic types of research should provide greater long-range gains.-K. Warner Schaie.
Social welfare research should examine such problems as necessity of public support of medical care for the aged as well as public support otherwise needed.Henry P. Schwarz.
Yes.-James A. Shannon.
There is a definite need to support social research on aging within the framework of and in proportion to general social welfare research.-Dr. Martin Silberberg.
Yes, I believe that social welfare research on aging should be supported. However, I feel very strongly that this should not come under a National Institute of Gerontology (if such an institute is created). This should be limited to biological and medical research.—Henry S. Simms.
I am certainly not an expert in the field of social welfare, but I understand that there is a real dearth of research personnel in this field, and here there is a real need to train people within th social welfare group to do research. As these are trained sufficiently, money for support of appropriate research projects should be made available.---Alexander Simon.
A limited amount would be useful.-Durwood J. Smith.
Yes, undoubtedly.-Jeremiah Stamler.
Yes.-Eugene A. Stead, Jr.
Yes. (See 8 above.)-Joseph W. Still.
I have reservations about singling out social welfare research on aging as a special area for support. My opinion is influenced by the fact that the number of competent research persons in the field is rather limited, and pouring large sums of money into an area where there is a limited amount of research personnel may not be advantageous scientifically or economically. Fortunately, in recent years a number of leading schools of social work have been developing programs to train social workers in social research. In the next few years there should be a new generation of well-trained persons able to conduct research. I realize that there may be some apparent inconsistency between my answer to this question and to No. 7. However, let me add as a word of explanation that in sociology there is a strong and long tradition emphasizing research, but in the field of social work this emphasis is just beginning. It seems to me that until the basic value of research becomes widely accepted and recognized, there is reason to question whether one area should be singled out for special attention. Moreover, I feel that there is greater need for unrestricted research funds which the investigators may use in pursuing a problem without practical restrictions. Earmarking large amounts for one area would tend to hamper this development which I feel is necessary if social science is to make advances.—Gordon F. Streib.
There is a need to support social welfare research on aging. One must be careful to distinguish between social welfare research on aging and social action on aging. I do know that moneys from private foundations to support social welfare research and social action programs are available. I am not in the position to know whether enough money is available for this field.-Norman M. Sulkin.
Yes. -Neil C. Tappen.
There is patent need for research which will illuminate the nature and extent of certain social problems within the field of aging, lead to development of sound and rational social policy, and measure the effectiveness of specific social policies and programs.
A few cases in point are: the effectiveness of various methods of accumulating retirement income credit; suitability of varied types of housing and living arrangements; effects of relatives responsibility laws on income adequacy and intergeneration relationships; consequences of various methods of providing adult education, social services, rehabilitation, medical care, and recreation. Such research could be expected to lead to better utilization of services, improved family and social relationships, and important economies. Policy researches in rehabilitation, employment services, and mental health are leading to significant program modifications and new approaches more effective than those they have superseded. -Clark Tibbitts.
Social welfare research on aging certainly deserves adequate support. * Questions of housing, nutrition, clothing, employment, recreation, retirement, and security are far from well defined and understood. Many philosophical assumptions are being made about old people and their needs which have little objective basis and fact. Thorough understanding in these areas is an obvious prerequisite to good social planning.–Thomas T. Tourlentes.
With regard to item 9, I believe that social welfare research on aging should increasingly devote itself to the study of patterns of health maintenance among the many diverse groups of first, second, and third generation Americans with particular emphasis on differences and similarities in value orientations. My own experience in this latter area in recent years would indicate that a lack of differential guidelines in the operation of social welfare agencies is paramount. At the present time a group of us, that is, social scientists, and the county health department and a number of heads of national fraternal orders are engaged in figuring out ways of coming to grips with these issues.-Otto von Mering.
Yes, where the nature of the project is one of true research. Much of what I have seen in the literature is methodology and revising of schedules rather than pioneering efforts in research.-A. Kurt Weiss.
There is a need to support social welfare research on aging.-James M. A Weiss.
Probably.-Frederick L. Weniger.
Not to confuse patient care and welfare with research but to support these areas separately as needed.-C. D. West.
Lack of information prohibits an answer.
Verner J. Wulff.
Question No. 10
Should there be a National Institute of Gerontology? If yes, should it come under the existing Institutes of Health or some other structural form? If no, should each of the existing Institutes under the National Institutes of Health have an aging section? How may we avoid any entangling problems involved under either approach?
Of course we know that there is such a society already. I would say no to your question, and I shall state some of the reasons. First, the present society might assume that its prerogative requires that it pass upon all grants, which could rule out all who are not members of that society, or induce them to join it.
Second, gerontological studies do not yet encompass all of the interests of the elderly population. I may be in error but I have heard nothing from them so far indicating an interest in longevity, which is certainly one of the major interests of the elderly people. I have had many letters asking about it.
Third, I doubt if the society as it is constituted at present is geared to research, or merely to needs for and practice of social services. These are excellent, and