THE Institute for Human Adjustment is a manifestation of the desire of the University to encourage research in the social, psychological, and physiological mechanisms of behavior, and to improve and extend its program of research and training in the field of special education. In the Institute facilities are established for the furtherance of this broader program. Through the gift of $1,000,000 to the University of Michigan by Mrs. Mary A. Rackham and special grants for buildings and equipment from the Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund, the Institute was established in 1937 (P.R. 1936-39, p. 224). These funds, which are a part of the endowment of the Rackham Graduate School, have been designated for use in teacher training, research, and service in the entire area of personal adjustment.
Upon its establishment the Institute for Human Adjustment acquired two existing units, the Speech Clinic and the Psychological Clinic, which had been operating in this area and which were to be co-ordinated and expanded in accordance with the program. In 1938 the Sociological Research Unit was created and placed within the Institute, as was also the newly established Fenton Community Center. Clark Tibbitts (Lewis Institute '24) was made Director of the Institute in 1938 and was also appointed Lecturer in Sociology.
The Institute was thus composed of distinct but co-ordinated units working in close co-operation with related departments of the University, particularly in the physical, biological, psychological, and social sciences, and with other specialized agencies in the community. To some extent each unit was regarded as an extension of the courses of study which were being developed.
The Institute for Human Adjustment is designed to serve normal, as well as physically handicapped and mentally maladjusted persons, so that they may be free to develop to the limit of their individual potentialities. The primary aims of the Ann Arbor units are identical: teacher training, research, and service. Teachers and specialists are trained for ordinary work in speech improvement and psychological examining in schools, courts, and child-welfare agencies, and for the more difficult tasks of diagnosis, research, and teacher training in other institutions.
The research program is designed to portray certain aspects of human behavior, particularly as they present problems of social adjustment. In the Speech Clinic research contributes to a better understanding of the processes of speech and speech disorders and provides the basis for more adequate programs of diagnosis, treatment, and retraining. Research in the Psychological Clinic throws light on the growth and development of mentality and personality in different types of homes and communities, offers reasons for school failures and methods of helping those who are failing, and examines the psychological and biopsychological differences among psychotic groups in hospitals for the mentally diseased.
Service is given directly through individual examinations, diagnosis, and treatment, and indirectly through education of parents, physicians, teachers, social workers, and visiting or school nurses. Efforts are made to point out to Page 1054these groups needs or defects of which they are unaware, the consequences of neglecting them, and the desirability of providing guidance or correction at an age when the individual can receive the greatest benefit.
Specific problems dealt with by the Psychological Clinic are vocational guidance, reading difficulties, adjustment of superior children, search for the causes of behavior problems including delinquency, methods of determining the capabilities and intelligence of children who are considered for adoption, and personality adjustment in the family. Clients come to the clinic as self-referrals and from the Michigan Child Guidance Institute, the University Health Service, the Michigan Children's Aid Society, the Speech Clinic, the Ann Arbor public schools, and elsewhere. In addition to the exhaustive individual examinations given in the clinic, group testing and individual examinations are given in the schools of Ann Arbor and neighboring communities, and in the Ypsilanti State Hospital.
The Speech Clinic directs its attention to individuals with deviations from normal speech patterns, such as stuttering and poor articulation, and to those handicapped by cleft palates, spastic disorders, and aphasia. It conducts tests of hearing and teaches speech reading and conversation, in order that even those with serious hearing losses may learn to communicate with normal people. In addition to the work in Ann Arbor, the clinic makes surveys of speech and hearing in the schools, supplementing its findings by social and school histories, and by mental and dental examinations of those children who have deviations. Such surveys call the attention of the school personnel and the family to the existence of problems which can be corrected before they have serious consequences. The surveys are frequently followed by a program of speech correction which gives excellent opportunity for teachers in training to gain experience.
The directing staffs of the clinics are restricted almost entirely to members of the University faculty. Graduate and undergraduate students conduct examinations consistent with the level reached in their classroom work, and they do part of the retraining in the Speech Clinic. Their clinical work is supervised and reviewed by the members of the senior staff and is an important part of their training. Through the service programs the staff members are able to collect the information fundamental to research. The contributions of the clinics are derived largely from the successful integration of the three-fold purpose upon which their operation is based.
The Sociological Research Project is devoted to study of the problems of youth in Flint. The main emphasis is placed on demonstration in vocational guidance. The program calls for intensive study and guidance of a selected group of high-school students. The interests, aptitudes, and personal characteristics of each member of this group are ascertained through the use of aptitude tests, interest inventories, personality schedules, case-history records, and school-achievement and work records. An intensive vocational program offered in conjunction with the schools includes explanation of the significance of tests, counseling, courses in vocational subjects, and discussions with individuals engaged in various occupational fields. A co-ordinated effort is made by the guidance project, the school placement service, and the junior employment office to find work opportunity in the field of preparation. The program is conducted by a staff assembled for the purpose, with the assistance of the staff of the Flint Guidance Center and of selected principals and teachers in the Page 1055schools. Like the Ann Arbor units, the Flint Sociological Research Project has been a means of giving University students actual field experience in psychological examining and in social research.