Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

Committee Member

Jay Weinstein, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Robert Orrange, PhD


As the economic, political, and technological landscape of America’s healthcare management system changes, states are forced to grapple with the progressively arduous task of administering substance abuse treatment programs. Using the Open Systems Model, this research examines external and internal environmental factors that influence goal displacement as it is hypothesized to occur in states’ treatment delivery systems. The findings suggest that a mix of environmental characteristics affect states’ levels of goal displacement but the factors that predict displacement in alcohol treatment are different than for the delivery of drug treatment. The internal and external environment factors that contribute to goal displacement do not remain static but are dynamic. Goal displacement was found to be relatively stable in delivery of alcohol treatment but volatile for that of drug. The findings also suggest that volatility impedes the achievement of goals, and the more heavily bureaucratized a state, the greater its level of volatility.

Included in

Sociology Commons