Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies

First Advisor

Judy K. Brun


This study evaluated the effectiveness of Iowa's secondary school family and consumer sciences programs as perceived by students. A two-stage stratified random sampling procedure resulted in usable data from 273 graduating seniors from 98 schools during the 1995-96 school year. The sample was comprised of 135 students (53% males, 47% females) with one semester or less of family and consumer sciences education and 138 students (34% males, 66% females) with three or more semesters of instruction. Students' perceived level of competence was measured in the areas of housing and home management; food and nutrition; individual and family health; personal and family living; consumer education and resource management; textiles and clothing; child development and parenting; and leadership, job getting and job keeping, and entrepreneurship;A significant difference (p <.01) in the total mean scores between groups was found. Students with three or more semesters of family and consumer sciences education reported a higher level of self-perceived competence than did students with one semester or less of instruction. When the family and consumer sciences competencies were studied individually, mean levels of reported competence for 36 of the 38 competencies were higher for those students in the three-semesters-or-more group than for those in the one-semester-or-less group. Significant differences (p <.001) were found for 16 of the 38 competencies assessed and for six of the eight content areas evaluated;Significant differences in gender and academic rank were found between groups in the sample. Students who had three semesters or more of instruction ranked lower academically, worked longer hours, lived in families with lower incomes, and joined FHA or HERO more often than did their peers with less instruction. Two variables--the number of semesters of instruction students had and the number of sources of information students used--accounted for only 11% of the variance found in students' scores;Quantitative data from this study document the effectiveness of family and consumer sciences programs in Iowa as perceived by students.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Robin Trimble White



Proquest ID


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File Size

174 pages