Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Family Environment


This study examines the effect of change in economic condition on families in their middle years in the nine-state North Central Region of the United States during 1979-1982. The relationships between economic changes, reported income adequacy, symptoms of stress, and economizing behavior are studied. The data include 1236 families.;Demographic and socioeconomic control variables were age of wife, employment of husband and wife, family size and family income. Reported change in income, overall financial condition, and income adequacy are the sum of responses obtained from both husband and wife. Family symptomology is measured by the Family Health Status Inventory. Economizing behavior was measured from a scale developed from 18 items identified as economizing activities.;Path analysis is used to examine the causal model. The results reveal that age, employment of husband, family size, and total family income are related to reported change in income. Significant positive relationships exist between change in overall financial condition, family income, and change in income but are negatively related to family size.;High income families and small families whose income and financial condition improved reported adequate income, while low income, larger families, and those who experienced a reduced income reported an inadequate income. Families with inadequate income experienced more stress symptoms and engaged in more economizing activities.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Belletech Deressa



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121 pages