Guide to the Oscar J. Kaplan Collection

© Copyright 2008 Special Collections & University Archives. All rights reserved.
2008-01-15
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
Phone: 619-594-6791

Guide to the Oscar J. Kaplan Collection 1941/1992

Special Collections & University Archives

Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: Oscar J. Kaplan Collection
Dates: 1941-1992
Identification: MS-0288
Creator: Kaplan, Oscar J.
Physical Description: 4.67 linear ft
Language of Materials: English
Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
URL: http://library.sdsu.edu/scua
Email: scref@rohan.sdsu.edu
Phone: 619-594-6791

Biographical Information:

Born in 1915, Oscar Kaplan was known as "the father of geriatric psychology." Growing up in Los Angeles, he received his bachelor's degree in psychology from UCLA and went on to get his master's degree in the same field, from the same institution. In 1940, he got his PhD in psychology from the University of California Berkeley.
Kaplan started his career as a major figure in the study of public polling. While working for the San Diego Union Tribune, he and his wife, Rose, developed various polls pertaining to life in San Diego. These topics included political, social and economic surveys. His focus, however, was centered on mental and physical health issues.
In 1946, Kaplan became the first professor in San Diego State College's (SDSC) psychology department to have a PhD. His interest in mass psychology lead him to develop courses related to public opinion measurement. In 1948, he founded the SDSC Center for Survey Research, remaining as director until shortly before his death. While at SDSC, he created several public heath surveys, asking students about their knowledge of dietary information, mental and sexual heath, X-rays, pregnancy, and prescription drug usage.
Kaplan authored Mental Disorders in Late Life, the first book about geriatric psychology. In 1946, the Surgeon General appointed him as a special consultant in gerontology to the U.S. Public Health Service. In 1949, Kaplan developed a radio program geared toward elderly listeners. Titled Your Life After Forty, the program gave advice about mental and physical hygiene for senior citizens. This program included polls about X-rays and venereal diseases, new topics unrecognized by the elderly community.
Kaplan's exposure to the public caught the attention of the Truman administration. He urged the President to develop the White House Conference on Aging, finally holding the conference in 1950. That same year, he became an appointed member of the Gerontological Society, an organization devoted to the promotion of scientific study on aging.
In 1955, Kaplan founded what is now known as The American Society of Aging. Five years later, he became the founding editor of The Gerontologist, a professional journal in the field.
The political climate in the 1960's inspired Kaplan to develop polls about the country's opinion on political issues. These included public opinions about Vietnam, civic affairs, public health surveys, and social security. In 1967, Kaplan organized a survey asking his psychology students about the educational system in California. The subjects were questioned about the value they saw in a college education, teacher compensation, and student rights.
In 1969, Kaplan received several grants from the U.S. Public Health Service. With the adequate funding, he was further able to develop public polls about health and social issues. That same year, Kaplan created a student opinions survey, asking SDSC students about American political and economic systems. Some questions inquired about the ethical implications of capitalism, and how students felt about political processes in the United States.
Kaplan continued polling throughout the 1970's, developing several surveys about media issues. In 1974, Kaplan taught an upper division class in public opinion measurement at San Diego State University (Psych-Journalism 122). The class focused on the methods by which polling information is obtained, and how it is presented in the media (especially on television).
In the latter part of his career, Kaplan was recognized for several outstanding achievements. In 1976, Kaplan was given the annual award by the Western Gerontological Society. In 1982, he was nominated for the Alumni faculty award at San Diego State University, receiving a grant for his achievements. The following year, Kaplan was nominated to be an outstanding professor in the Cal State University System.
Though Kaplan retired from SDSU in 1983, he continued polling well into the 1980's. He was the first pollster to inquire about President Reagan's popularity in the decade, and further developed polls about political affairs.
After a struggle with cancer, Oscar Kaplan passed away on December 19th, 1994.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Corporate Name:

San Diego State University -- Faculty -- Biography -- Sources

Family Name:

Kaplan, Oscar J. -- Archives

Genre/Form of Material:

Personal Papers
Publications

Title:

Aging Older people -- Medical care

Topical Term:

Gerontology
Social surveys -- California -- San Diego County

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Identification of item, folder title, box number, Oscar J. Kaplan Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Scope and Contents

The Oscar Kaplan Collection documents Kaplan's career as a pollster, psychologist, gerontologist, and member of SDSU's faculty. Also included is Kaplan's work with various organizations including the Gerontological Society, American Society of Aging, the American Psychological Association, and SDSU's Center for Survey Research. Documentation of Kaplan's works as a pollster includes health surveys about tuberculosis and venereal diseases, health education research surveys, student health surveys and prescription drug surveys. Highlights include correspondence for the radio series Your Life After Forty, the White House Conference on Aging, studies and statistics about tuberculosis, evaluations of polling information, and health education research.  The collection dates from 1941-1996, with the majority of the materials dating from the late 1940s to the early 1960's. It consists of articles, correspondence, surveys, survey data, research reports, statistics, newsletters, Psychology Department bulletins, minutes, memos, and syllabi and other course files.

Detailed List of Contents

Box 1, Folder 1

Gerontology Radio Series: "Your Life After Forty" 1950

Box 1, Folder 2

2nd International Gerontological Congress 1951

Box 1, Folder 3

"Mailed Response to an Article on Geriatrics in the Reader's Digest," by Oscar J. Kaplan ca. 1952

Box 1, Folder 4

Reader's Digest-Geriatrics 1949 - 50

Box 1, Folder 5

"Optimal Retirement Plans, Their Implication for the Industrial Physician," by A. G. Kammer 1951

Box 1, Folder 6

"Health Status & Health Needs Among Aged Beneficiaries of Old-Age & Survivors Insurance," by I.S. Falk 1951

Box 1, Folder 7

Medical Care for Aged ca. 1949

Box 1, Folder 8

Age as a Factor in Physical Examination Frequency 1949

Box 1, Folder 9

Gerontological Society 1949 - 52

Box 1, Folder 10

Newsletters of the Gerontological Society June 1954 - December 1956

Box 1, Folder 11

The American Geriatrics Society-correspondence 1950

Box 1, Folder 12

Research on Aging: Proceedings of a Conference at the University of California, Berkeley August 7-10, 1950

Box 1, Folder 13

Health & Psychological Risks of Relocation of Elderly Residents of 4 Mobile Home Parks in the Santee, California area: State Route 52 Project July 1990

Box 1, Folder 14

"America's Centenarians: Reports of Interviews with Social Security Beneficiaries who have lived to 100"-volume III December 1963

Box 1, Folder 15

"Social Indicators & the Aging," by Ontell, R. and Kaplan, O.J. 1972

Box 1, Folder 16

White House Conference on Aging-correspondence 1947-50

Box 1, Folder 17

Aging & Cancer 1950

Box 1, Folder 18

Senior Citizens Survey 1964, February 1973

Box 1, Folder 19

Planning Committee - Master's in Gerontology 1979 - 80

Box 1, Folder 20

Office of Pacific Coast - Gerontology Research 1946 - 52

Box 1, Folder 21

Mayor's Committee on Aging 1974 - 77

Box 1, Folder 22

Miscellaneous Aging/Gerantology Programs 1949 - 73

Box 1, Folder 23

Health Project correspondence - Gerantology & Tuberculosis 1950 - 52

Box 1, Folder 24

Tuberculosis Information 1948 - 50

Box 1, Folder 25

Tuberculosis Mail Study 1951

Box 1, Folder 26

Tuberculosis Association Evaluation 1949 - 50

Box 1, Folder 27

County Tuberculosis & Health Association Radio Study 1951

Box 1, Folder 28

Resident Civilian Tuberculosis Statistics - S.D. County 1952

Box 1, Folder 29

Diabetes 1941 - 52

Box 1, Folder 30

VD Hooperating 1949

Box 1, Folder 31

VD Radio Study 1949

Box 1, Folder 32

VD Radio Audience Survey 1949

Box 1, Folder 33

VD Cancer, Chest X-Ray Surveys 1941 - 51

Box 1, Folder 34

"An Evaluation of a Public Health Venereal Disease Education Program," by Richard Warfield 1949

Box 1, Folder 35

X-Ray Survey 1948 - 51

Box 1, Folder 36

Mass X-Ray 1948 - 50

Box 1, Folder 37

Mass Chest X-Ray Statistics 1949 - 50

Box 1, Folder 38

Chest X-Ray Survey 1949

Box 1, Folder 39

"Effectiveness of Mailed Material in Inducing Older Persons to Obtain Chest X-Rays," by Oscar J. Kaplan ca. 1952

Box 1, Folder 40

"Frequency & Effectiveness of Sources of Information used in the 1949 Hamtramck, Michigan Chest X-Ray Survey," by Norbert Reinstein & Ralph Carr Fletcher May 1950

Box 1, Folder 41

"Frequency & Effectiveness of Sources of Information used in the 1949 Highland Park, Michigan Chest X-Ray Survey," by Janeal Benson Griffins September 1950

Box 1, Folder 42

"Reasons for Non-Participation in the HIghland Park, Michigan X-Ray Survey," by Marion Henderson November 1950

Box 1, Folder 43

Current Health Education Reseach 1949 - 50

Box 1, Folder 44

Health Education Studies 1947 - 49

Box 1, Folder 45

Health Education Program Evaluation 1946 - 52

Box 1, Folder 46

Health Education Evaluation 1948

Box 1, Folder 47

Evaluation of Health Education Activities by Opinion Poll Technique 1950 - 51

Box 1, Folder 48

Mass Health Education 1948 - 49

Box 1, Folder 49

Health Education Correspondence 1950

Box 1, Folder 50

World/Public Health Education 1948 - 49

Scope and Contents

pamphlets, flyers, articles, correspondence
Box 2, Folder 1

Health Sample Surveys 1948

Box 2, Folder 2

Health Survey #1 - Questionnaire forms 1949

Box 2, Folder 3

Health Survey #1 - Results 1949

Box 2, Folder 4

Questions for Health Survey #2 1948 - 50

Box 2, Folder 5

San Diego City Health Survey 1949 - 51

Box 2, Folder 6

San Diego State College Health Survey (Kellogg Study) 1948

Box 2, Folder 7

Evaluation of San Diego's Health ca. 1952

Box 2, Folder 8

Health Systems Agency Survey 1978

Box 2, Folder 9

Payroll on Health Survey 1949

Box 2, Folder 10

Health Statistics 1948 - 49

Box 2, Folder 11

Health Study - Regular Physical Examinations 1949

Box 2, Folder 12

Physical Exam Week Campaign Materials 1950

Box 2, Folder 13

Regular Physical Exam Week 1949 - 50

Box 2, Folder 14

Periodic Exam Education 1949 - 50

Box 2, Folder 15

Imperial Valley Pap Smear Survey January 1971

Box 2, Folder 16

Papanicolaou Smear Survey, San Diego County 1961, 1962, 1966

Box 2, Folder 17

Voluntary Organizations 1951

Box 2, Folder 18

Voluntary Health Study 1951 - 52

Box 2, Folder 19

"Attitudes Toward Voluntary Health Organizations," by Oscar Kaplan 1952

Box 2, Folder 20

"Public Opinion of San Diego Residents Regarding Health & Welfare Organizations," by Herbert Fredman August 1951

Box 2, Folder 21

Community Welfare Council 1951, 1960

Box 2, Folder 22

Red Cross Survey 1951 - 52

Box 2, Folder 23

County Medical Society 1948 - 50

Box 2, Folder 24

San Diego County Drug Survey Results 1985

Box 2, Folder 25

Birth & Death Rates in Community Areas in San Diego in 1st Quarter 1949

Box 2, Folder 26

Deaths & Death Rates for 64 Selected Causes 1952

Box 2, Folder 27

Classifications of Physicians & Surgeons by Community Area ca. 1972

Box 2, Folder 28

Parent Discussion Group Survey 1954

Box 2, Folder 29

Family Service Association 1949

Box 2, Folder 30

Civilian Defense 1951 - 52

Box 2, Folder 31

San Diego Civic Problems Survey #1 1951

Box 2, Folder 32

Follow-Up: San Diego Civic Problems #1 1951 - 52

Box 2, Folder 33

San Diego Civic Affairs Survey #3 1951 - 52

Box 2, Folder 34

San Diego Civic Affairs Survey #5 November 1959

Box 2, Folder 35

Civic Affairs Survey #10 1964 - 65

Box 2, Folder 36

San Diego Civic Affairs Survey 1959, 1960

Box 2, Folder 37

San Diego Civic Problems Survey November - December 1957

Box 2, Folder 38

San Diego Civic Problems Surveys November 1957

Box 2, Folder 39

A Survey of Citizen Attitudes in San Diego ca. 1970

Box 2, Folder 40

County Attitude Survey July 1971

Box 2, Folder 41

Balboa Park Parking Study February 1980

Box 2, Folder 42

San Diego Higher Education Survey June 1976

Box 2, Folder 43

Public Opinion on Vietnam War 1965 - 66

Box 2, Folder 44

Intergroup Relations in San Diego: a report to the City Council & the Board of Education of the City of San Diego 1946

Box 2, Folder 45

San Diego County Real Estate Investment Groups, by Hippaka, W.H., and Kaplan, O.J. 1962

Box 2, Folder 46

"San Ysidro Economic Potential" December 1968

Box 2, Folder 47

"Public Opinion & Fluoridation," by Oscar J. Kaplan ca. 1952

Box 2, Folder 48

Save Your Water Project ca. 1952

Box 2, Folder 49

Chula Vista Shopping Center Surveys 1968

Box 2, Folder 50

Coronado Shopping & Civic Affairs Survey January 1972

Box 2, Folder 51

Senior Opinion Survey Spring 1959

Box 2, Folder 52

Restaurant Surveys January 1977

Box 2, Folder 53

Belmont Park Survey May 1972

Box 2, Folder 54

Highway Safety Survey ca. 1970

Box 2, Folder 55

San Diego Political Opinions - correspondence 1963

Box 2, Folder 56

Campus Studies Institute, SDSC - Student Opinion Survey 1969

Box 2, Folder 57

San Diego's Population Statistics 1920 - 50

Box 2, Folder 58

San Diego Transportation Survey December 1975

Box 2, Folder 59

Community Crime Survey May 1974

Box 2, Folder 60

Metropolitan San Diego Housing Report 1952 - 53, 1957

Box 3, Folder 1

Second Supervisorial District Survey August 1972

Box 3, Folder 2

Community Needs Survey 1949

Box 3, Folder 3

San Diego Bank and Savings & Loan Survey November 1962

Box 3, Folder 4

Evaluation of the San Diego Plan for Racial Integration 1977 - 78

Box 3, Folder 5

Brown for Supervisor Fall 1972

Box 3, Folder 6

Progress Report - RG 1552 1949, 1950

Box 3, Folder 7

US Public Health Service #RG 1552 1949 - 53

Box 3, Folder 8

RG 1552 - Progress Reports, Budget, Plans 1949 - 52

Box 3, Folder 9

RG 1552 Bills 1949 - 50

Box 3, Folder 10

Money Due from US Public Health Service 1950

Box 3, Folder 11

US Public Health Service Budget 1948 - 51

Box 3, Folder 12

US Public Health Service - miscellaneous 1949 - 52

Box 3, Folder 13

Plans Summer 1952

Box 3, Folder 14

Berkeley Training Institute August 20, 1959

Box 3, Folder 15

Vocational & Liberal Education 1947

Box 3, Folder 16

Postage Meter Slogans ca. 1949

Box 3, Folder 17

Posters ca. 1951

Box 3, Folder 18

Sound Seminars 1952

Box 3, Folder 19

Newsletter Correspondence 1951 - 53

Box 3, Folder 20

San Diego Civic Construction Project Survey 1958 - 59

Box 3, Folder 21

Placement of Unemployed Middle-Aged Workers in San Diego, California November 1968

Box 3, Folder 22

Department of Psychology Faculty Promotion 1950 - 59

Box 3, Folder 23

Psychology Department Bulletins, Minutes, Memos 1963

Box 3, Folder 24

Psychology S-180 Summer 1974

Box 3, Folder 25

Psychology S-180 Summer Session, 1972

Box 3, Folder 26

Psychology - Jour 122 Class Survey Fall 1967

Box 3, Folder 27

General Psychology Committee, Report 1949 - 50

Box 3, Folder 28

Handbook for American Psychological Association Division Officers 1952

Box 3, Folder 29

American Psychological Association - Division on Maturity and Old Age 1948 - 52

Box 3, Folder 30

American Psychological Association (APA) - newsletters - correspondence July 1952 - February 1953, 1992

Box 3, Folder 31

Horn American Psychological Association Symposium Talk 1950

Box 3, Folder 32

"Behaviorism," by John B. Watson, lectures I-XII n.d.

Box 3, Folder 33

Aztec Readers Survey 1974

Box 3, Folder 34

Omnibus Survey ca. 1988

Box 3, Folder 35

Public Relations Survey May 1951

Box 3, Folder 36

Discussion of organizational problems in methodology: associations, publication, research support n.d.

Box 3, Folder 37

Bond Issues Survey 1958

Box 3, Folder 38

State Proposition 1A Survey September - October 1962

Box 3, Folder 39

"Report of the Activities of the Phillips-Ramsey Company" 1951

Box 3, Folder 40

Principles of Communication ca. 1950

Box 3, Folder 41

Eleven Principles of Effective Communication 1951

Box 3, Folder 42

Communication Research n.d.

Box 3, Folder 43

Post Card Poll on Duration of War 1943

Box 3, Folder 44

Idaho Social Hygiene 1942 - 43

Box 3, Folder 45

South California 1st National Bank Employee Morale Materials 1969

Box 3, Folder 46

The Dolls Survey - Health 1949

Box 3, Folder 47

Correspondence, re. Polling Organizations 1951

Box 3, Folder 48

Project Publicity 1949

Box 3, Folder 49

Educational Records Bureau Bulletins 1965 - 66

Box 3, Folder 50

Radio Programs 1949

Box 3, Folder 51

Television Project n.d.

Box 3, Folder 52

Television Surveys 1949 - 52

Box 3, Folder 53

California Contemporary Problems TV Course 1974

Box 3, Folder 54

Miscellaneous correspondence 1950 - 60