Rosella Dowd

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jeffrey, Betty||Petrich, Beatrice

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics




The purposes of the present study were to ascertain if a trend toward traditional or equalitarian role expectations could be established; and to discover if there were significant relationships between the sub-scales of the marital inventory and the following variables: (1) sex; (2) religious affiliation; (3) family structure; and (4) family size. The null hypothesis stated that there would be no difference in the scores obtained by students on the Marriage Role Expectation Inventory according to sex, religious affiliation, family structure, and family size. The present study utilized the Marriage Role Expectation Inventory by Dunn,(1963a). The instrument consists of 71 statements on seven role areas: (a) authority; (b) homemaking; (c) care of children; (d) personal characteristics; (e) social participation; (f) education; and (g) employment and support. The investigator administered the instrument to 207 students; 77 males and 130 females; 159 Jewish and 48 non-Jewish respondents; 178 subjects from intact families and 29 from broken families; and 146 respondents from small and 61 from large families. Data were analyzed by the t test, median test, and mean scores. The null hypothesis was accepted according to family structure and family size; there were no significant differences in the scores obtained by respondents on each sub-scale. The null hypothesis was rejected by sex and religious affiliation for some of the role areas investigated. Significant relationships were found by sex and religious affiliation for social participation. Significant associations also were found by sex for the care of children, personal characteristics, and employment sub-sub-scales. Role conceptions of respondents in the present study reflected a trend toward equalitarian attitudes. Only slight differences were noted between the scores that were below or above the median. The findings indicated that there were significant differences in the scores on selected sub-scales of the marital role inventory according to sex and religious affiliation. It is suggested that unless young people clarify their ideas on marital roles, role conflicts are likely to exist after marriage. It is recommended that the relationship of cultural background factors and sex-role training to marital role conceptions be investigated in future studies of adolescents’ marital role expectations.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 58 pages




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