Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 8-7-1964


The purpose of this investigation was to (l) determine what percentage of psychiatric nurses had an accepting attitude toward the homosexual patient; (2) to determine the percentage who had an unfavorable attitude; and (3) to develop a tool that might be of value in the assessment of attitudes, and in planning educational programs for psychiatric nursing personnel and basic nursing students. Data were collected by administering a two part attitude questionnaire to eighty nurses functioning in three psychiatric institutions in Colorado and Texas. Part I of the instrument was a thirty item Likert-type scale, and Part II was an open-ended statement. Analysis of the data produced the following findings: Seventy-one nurses (88.75 per cent) indicated acceptance of the homosexual patient; conversely, nine nurses (11.25 per cent). However, of the eighty subjects studied only sixteen of the nurses (20.00 per cent) indicated an accepting attitude without reservations. It was also determined that for the purpose of this study the instrument was reliable. Given the above findings, and their consideration in the light of the multi-faceted "attitude", the following conclusion was made. Generally speaking, conflict was evidenced by the majority of the nurses within this sample population. And, perhaps this conflict was engendered by the silent shout of inconsistency between expectations imposed upon them through identification with a professional role, and those of the society from whom they learned accepted patterns of behavior.