Author Credentials

Sister Mary Gemma Dupre, S.S.F.

Date of Award


Document Type

Research Paper

Superseded Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (Education of Mentally Handicapped)

Colleges & School

Cardinal Stritch College

Degree Granted By

Cardinal Stritch College

First Advisor

Sister Joanne Marie Kliebhan, O.S.F.

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Mental retardation--United States; Poor--United States


The purpose of this paper was threefold: (1) to provide the reader with information essential to an understanding of the questions posed above. In view of the fact that poverty is historical in its reality, but a newly realized cause of mental retardation with many overtones, sociological and psychological facets yet to be explored by further research, the writer admits that this paper is not comprehensive in its entirety. The field of poverty as a causal factor of mental retardation is just beginning to make a profound impression and cause a whirlwind of awareness on the part of the greater society. Therefore, the following review of studies and opinions is presented here to demonstrate that poverty does exist: that its results and consequences have robbed individuals of their God-given innate potentials, and likewise have robbed our nation and the world of the most precious and perishable resource -- human capacities. This condition of pseudo-mental retardation can and must be alleviated by the efforts of planners, educators, sociologists, political scientists, politicians and families-in short society itself. (2) The second and probably most important purpose of this paper was to present various research studies, opinions and facts which illustrate genetic versus the environmental deprivation, or in some instances genetic and environmental deprivation as both having an effect on mental retardation. Studies have been cited from developmental and comparative psychological research, but in particular from sociological investigations with psychosocial aspects. (3) Various current programs and projects have been cited and suggestions presented in the review of the literature, that society plans to use to attack and prevent mental retardation.


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