Skip to main content
Select Source:

Institutionalization

Institutionalization

Placing emotionally disturbed or psychotic people in a therapeutic facility.

Our views of mental institutions are often colored by media's portrayal of them, such as in the movies One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Girl, Interrupted. With an emphasis on care and treatment, the best institutions offer emotionally disturbed people a better chance at life. They can learn new skills, improve behavioral and psychological problems, and develop healthier self-esteem .

People with mild emotional or behavior problems often benefit from a short stay at an institution and benefit from a therapy protocol that minimizes the fact of institutionalization. However, severely disturbed people require a longer stay and a highly controlled environment .

Psychologists differ widely on the long-term effects of institutionalization. A shortage of research funds means that little solid evidence exists to support one side or the other. Although many improvements have been made in the quality of mental institutions, some civil-rights and patients'-rights groups claim that incidences of neglect or below-standard care still exist. Of particular concern is the lack of proper staff training. Detractors of institutions also point out that patients are often sedated without given any other form of treatment. They assert that institutions do more harm than good.

Some concerns have also been raised regarding the institutionalization of children. In 1990, the American Public Welfare Association estimated that 65,000 children were living in group homes, residential treatment centers, or psychiatric hospitals. Institutionalization for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents is usually not meant to provide long-term treatment. The average stay ranges from several months to two years.

During the 1980s, the federal government began a program of "deinstitutionalizing" the mentally ill. Some returned to their families. Others found themselves in hospitals or community health centers. Today, it is not uncommon to see emotionally disturbed or psychotic people living on the streets, along with other homeless people. Local communities have been reluctant to provide alternatives to mental institutions, refusing to allow mental health clinics, half-way houses, or group homes to be established in their neighborhoods.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Institutionalization." Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Institutionalization." Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/institutionalization

"Institutionalization." Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology. . Retrieved February 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/institutionalization

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

institutionalization

institutionalization (in-sti-tyoo-shŏn-ăl-I-zay-shŏn) n. a condition produced by long-term residence in an unstimulating impersonal institution (such as some residential care homes). The individual adapts to the behaviour characteristic of the institution to such an extent that he or she is handicapped in other environments. The features often include apathy, dependence, and a lack of personal responsibility.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"institutionalization." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"institutionalization." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/institutionalization

"institutionalization." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved February 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/institutionalization

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

institutionalization

institutionalization A term used to describe the adverse psychological effects on individuals of residence in institutions, especially of long stays in large-scale institutions, such as mental hospitals and prisons. Most frequently mentioned effects, whose precise causes are debated, are dependency, passivity, and lethargy. These effects are sometimes termed institutionalism.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"institutionalization." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"institutionalization." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/institutionalization

"institutionalization." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved February 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/institutionalization

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.