Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Norman A. Scott


This study was a conducted with a primary goal of exploring whether there are differences in stressors (i.e., aspects of business) and perceived stress related variables (i.e., subjective and psychological measures) between family-owned business owners/managers and non-family-owned business managers in the State of Iowa. The secondary goal was to ascertain if there are differences in the coping strategies used by these owners and managers. Statistically identified differences were then used as predictors of category membership in either the family-owned business or the non-family-owned business groups. A total of 140 usable surveys were collected, 71 from family-owned businesses and 69 from non-family-owned businesses, reflecting an overall return rate of 19.94 percent;This study addressed two hypotheses. Hypothesis 1 predicted that no differences would be found in the areas of life seen as stressful by the two categories of respondents, or in the mean levels of reported (i.e., perceived) stress in these areas. Hypothesis 2 predicted that the stressful situations of life faced by the two categories of respondents would be dealt with through similar methods. Neither hypothesis was rejected as a result of the study. However, a number of statistically significant findings did result from the study, although the significant findings did not relate directly to these hypotheses. Among the significant findings were the following;Significant differences were found between family-owned and non-family-owned businesses in the areas of gross sales, number of business locations, number of people besides the respondent involved in management decisions, and number of full-time employees. Significant differences were found in Coping Responses Inventory results between female and male respondents (i.e., seeking guidance and support, cognitive avoidance, and emotional discharge. Significant differences were found between the combined business sample and the CRI-adult standardization sample on all coping styles, except cognitive avoiDance;;There was a significant difference between the combined business sample and the non-patient standardization sample on all but two of the Brief Symptom Inventory indexes, and between the combined business sample and the adult psychiatric outpatient standardization sample on all but one of the indexes;Significant differences were found between the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule adult non-patient standardization sample and the family-owned business sample.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

William B. Burns



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197 pages