Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies


The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of one procedure for evaluating the parenthood education component of secondary vocational home economics programs in Iowa. The study was designed to help meet the need for data which either confirm the effectiveness of present efforts in parenthood education or detect the need for change. Objectives of the study included developing a procedure and devices to evaluate parenthood education and comparing the responses of past students of parenthood education with control subjects;The purposive sample included 15 former students from eight vocational home economics programs who were matched with persons who had been students at the same high school but had not been enrolled in parenthood education classes. Data were collected in the homes of subjects by teachers who used an inventory, an interview schedule, and an observation rating scale;The inventory, Iowa Parent Behavior Inventory, was a self-report of parent behaviors with a given child. The reliability estimates for the six factors ranged from .55 to .81. The interview schedule and the rating scale for observation were developed for use in this investigation and were based on a census study of topics taught in vocational home economics programs. Items for the devices were derived from theory and research findings. The 15-item interview schedule probed parenting behaviors and the reasons for them. The schedule was determined to be highly reliable although no conventional means of calculating a numerical estimate could be used. The rating scale focused on the parent's management of the baby's physical environment and interaction with the baby. The inter-rater reliability estimate was .70, and the intra-rater reliability estimate ranged from .83 to .98;Means and standard deviations were calculated for each item and factor on the devices for both groups. Using t-tests to compare the experimental and control groups indicated that although in few instances were there statistically significant differences between them, the experimental group scored higher on most items and factors on the measurement devices. The data indicated that both groups were functioning at or above the level of parenting judged adequate on the rating scale. However, on some items the groups scored below the level of parenting judged adequate on the interview;The procedure for evaluating parenthood education programs was judged to be feasible, and its implementation was recommended.



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Jerry Ann McClelland



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152 pages