Date of Award

1976

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Educational Psychology, Ed.D.

First Advisor

Conrad A. Reichert

Second Advisor

Wilfred W. Liske

Third Advisor

Alice Marsh

Abstract

Problem. The purpose of this study was to Identify the types of family concept held by different groups of adolescents in thirteen selected high schools in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Could the adoles­cents' concepts of the ideal family be described in terms of a number of factors? If there were basic factors, how would they compare with those previously identified by van der Veen in his study of disturbed adolescents? Were there differences in the ideal family concept when the adolescents were compared according to grade in school, church mem­bership, sex, race, residential location, and number of parents? With the answers to these questions, various helping organizations in the community can formulate realistic family life curricula as well as lay the groundwork and foundation for strong families in the future.

Method. This study employed the descriptive method involving factor analysis, the t-test of significance between means, one-way analysis of variance, multivariate analysis of variance, and discriminant analysis. Seven hypotheses were advanced for testing. A panel of experts helped determine the descriptors for the dimensions identi­fied by factor analysis. The data came from 123 randomly selected ninth and twelfth graders from seven Seventh-day Adventist academies and six public senior high schools. There were 66 males and 57 females. Eighty-seven of the subjects were white and 35 were non-whites. Rural, urban, and suburban residential locations were represented in the study. The majority of the subjects lived with both parents. The Family Concept Test developed by van der Veen was used to measure the adolescents' viewpoints on different aspects of the ideal family. The responses were indicated by rating how much each of the 80 statements were like what they wanted their ideal family to be on a scale of 0 to 8. The data were entered, processed, and analyzed.

Findings. Twelve independent but psychologically meaningful factors were identified after a varimax rotation. These were: (1) attachment, (2) emotional openness, (3) compatibility, (4) inadequacy, (5) indi­viduality, (6) interdependence, (7) mutual support, (8) pseudo-confidence, (9) frustration, (10) communication, (11) autonomy, and (12) democracy. The t-test for significance between means revealed differences between adolescents when they were compared according to church mem­bership, and sex. The one-way analysis of variance showed that the urban adolescents differed from rural and urban adolescents, but the latter two groups did not differ significantly from each other. Grade In school, race, and parental number were not found to be signifi­cantly related to Ideal family concept. The multivariate analysis of variance using the twelve factor scores Isolated by factor analysis, revealed that the subjects differed In their Ideal family concept when they were compared according to church membership, race, and residential location. Grade In school, sex, and parental number were not found to be sig­nificantly related to the factor centroids. Discriminant analysis of factor scores revealed that the factors, emotional openness, compatibility. and Individuality were most sensitive In discriminating between the various subgroups of students.

Conclusions. The study showed that It was possible to describe the adoles­cents' concept of the Ideal family In terms of basic factors. The twelve factors Identified were very different from those previously identified by van der Veen In his research on disturbed adolescents. Hence, normal adolescents perceived their Ideal families differently from disturbed adolescents. The study showed that It was possible to describe the adoles­cents' concept of the Ideal family In terms of basic factors. The twelve factors Identified were very different from those previously identified by van der Veen In his research on disturbed adolescents. Hence, normal adolescents perceived their Ideal families differently from disturbed adolescents.

Subject Area

Families, Adolescence.

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