Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies


The first purpose of this study was to assess and describe the volunteer service of American Home Economics Association members (AHEA). The second purpose was to assess the political activities of AHEA members, and to identify important variables influencing that participation;The three sections in this research were a descriptive study of the volunteer service of home economists, the utilization of sociodemographic variables in developing a model to succinctly describe volunteer service, and the development of a model to describe political participation;Data used in all three sections were from the 1979 American Home Economics Association Membership Survey. All professional members (34,562) as of June, 1979, were invited to respond. Usable completed questionnaires were obtained from 16,894 (49%) of the total membership;In the first section, percentages were calculated for hours in volunteer service with relevant sociodemographic variables;Retired home economists who were married, owned their own home, and lived in small communities were the most active volunteers;The technique of loglinear hierarchical modeling was used to identify the important independent variables that succinctly explained variations in time spent in volunteer service;Age, marital status, and income were variables that provided the best fitting model describing amount of volunteer service. The retired members of AHEA were the most active in volunteer service;A sample of politically active and inactive home economists, was used in identifying a model describing political participation. The loglinear model that best fit the data contained the variables education, age, employment status, and income;Only 11% of professional home economists participated in political activities. Of these, young home economists (less than 35), earning more than 20,000 per year were the most active politically. Overall, the awareness gained of factors influencing volunteer service and political participation should be of use to AHEA leaders as they seek to promote greater activity by members in these areas.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Linda Erickson Enders



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127 pages