Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




We seek to further understand the relationships between generations. The purpose of the present study was to explore these relationships by deciding if a generation gap existed with the values of three generations of blood-related families. The literature reviewed revealed three competing positions regarding the existence of a generation gap. Some held that no gap has occurred, others believed a great gap has existed, and yet another group showed differences appearing on a selective basis;An additional question examined by this study was that, if differences were evident, would they be similar within cohorts (peer group) or within family lineages (a lineage was comprised of one student, one parent, and one grandparent all blood-related)?;Two hundred Iowa State students and approximately one-half of their parents and grandparents were asked to respond to the same values' instrument. Demographic data were also obtained. The values survey consisted of 36 values rated on a one to eleven scale of importance (eleven was most important) and ten behavioral vignettes evaluated on a one to five scale (five was agree strongly). The collected data were subjected to a factor analysis and seven distinct factors emerged from this procedure. These seven were identified as Deference, Discerning, Nurturing, Conceptual, Commonweal, Concordance, and Crossroads. Then analysis of variance tests of significance for each factor examined similarities and differences with cohorts as one main effect and family lineage as the other main effect;Results indicated that with cohorts there was evidence both for and against the existence of a generation gap depending on the factor. Most often, overall group means showed a pattern of grandparents rating the factors as most important, the students the least important, and the parents between the two. However, with three factors (Nurturing, Discerning, and Conceptual), the parents of female students were the lowest in their ratings, with the grandparents again the highest and the students in between;In the lineage analysis, there was evidence of successful value transmission with the factors of Deference, Discerning, and Crossroads. Male students' lineages were statistically different on these factors, whereas female students' lineages were not. This finding provided some support that the lineage effect has a stronger impact on the socialization of males as compared to females;The conclusion of this study was that a generation gap did exist on a selective basis and was dependent upon the factor under inquiry.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Steven William Roecklein



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

126 pages