The factors influencing mental health facility admissions and budgets in the United States

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2019-01-01
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Horvath, Olivia
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David Peterson
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Political Science
The Department of Political Science has been a separate department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (formerly the College of Sciences and Humanities) since 1969 and offers an undergraduate degree (B.A.) in political science, a graduate degree (M.A.) in political science, a joint J.D./M.A. degree with Drake University, an interdisciplinary degree in cyber security, and a graduate Certificate of Public Management (CPM). In addition, it provides an array of service courses for students in other majors and other colleges to satisfy general education requirements in the area of the social sciences.
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Mental health is an issue that is beginning to gain more traction within the Untied States. It is important to understand the various factors that influence the admissions into state mental hospitals, community programs, residential treatment centers, and other inpatient programs throughout the United States as well as the budgets for mental health in the United States. The factors that influence these admissions and budgets can range from economic issues to issues involving interest groups and mental health parity within the state. The method I used to analyze the influence that various factors have on mental health facility admissions and mental health budgets is a cross-sectional time series regression model. I chose this model because my data has both a cross sectional and an over time component.

My research involves the dependent variables of the admissions into state mental hospitals, community programs, residential treatment centers, and other inpatient programs throughout the United States. The other dependent variables include each state’s budget for state mental health facilities, community programs, and the total state budget for mental health. I also look into a variety of independent variables. My independent variables are the party in power within the state, personal income, per capital income, the number of people employed within a state, budget surplus within the state, the median household income, the number of people with health insurance, the number of health care interest groups, the number of National Alliance on Mental Illness groups, and whether or not the state has mental health parity. This data was collected for each of the 50 states.

The results show that the independent variables with the most positive,significant effect are the number of people with health insurance in the state, the number of health care interest groups in the state, and the number of National Alliance on Mental Illness groups within the state. These results were surprising as it made sense that the party in power and the other economic variables of the budget surplus and the median income would make more of a difference in admissions and budgets.

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Wed May 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019