Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Child Development

First Advisor

Dahlia F. Stockdale


The differences between male and female college student families on stress and coping resources were investigated in a sample of 133 male and 195 female college students and their spouses. The relationships among perceived stress, student stress, locus of control, marital satisfaction, social support, satisfaction with leisure time and housing satisfaction were also investigated. A questionnaire was developed by the researcher to measure student stress, social support, satisfaction with leisure time and housing satisfaction; standardized instruments were utilized to measure perceived stress, locus of control and marital satisfaction. Correlational analyses were used to explore the relationships among the variables. A 2 (group) x 2 (sex of student) repeated measures analysis of variance was used to analyze group and sex of student differences on perceived stress, locus of control, marital satisfaction, division of household duties, and satisfaction with leisure time. The results indicated that females perceived more stress and had higher beliefs in luck and personal efficacy; males had higher beliefs in personal competence. Students were less satisfied with their marriages than spouses. Families were under more stress when marital satisfaction and the frequency of spousal support were low. Higher stress individuals also had higher beliefs in fate, and were less satisfied with their marriages, their leisure time and their housing environment. For students, higher perceived stress was associated with higher student stress. Results suggest that females in college student families may experience more stress as a result of their multiple role demands, and the interaction of family and student role demands may account for the finding that college students were less satisfied with their marriages. Future research is needed to assess the impact of these relationships on parent-child interactions and child development.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Barbara Jo Chaney



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

142 pages