Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Family, Consumer, and Human Development
The critical lack of research in the area of in - law relationships leaves interested persons wondering about the nature of such relationships. The purpose of this study was to ascertain how the independent variables of sex, number of children , education and age of the sons or daughters-in-law effected the relationship with the mothers and fathers-in-law. The four directional hypotheses tested were: (1) as the age of the son or daughter - in-law increases , the chances for a more positive relationship with mothers and fathers-in-law and their sons and daughters, increases significantly; (2) females feel significantly closer to their parents-in-law than males; (3) as the number of children in the homes of the sons and daughters-in-law increases, the quality of their relationship increases significantly with their parents-in-law; and (4) the higher the educational l eve l of the sons or daughter s-in- law the greater the quality of their relationship with their mother or fatherin law. A total of 238 persons living in the married student housing responded to the questionnaire. The questions were answered accordi. ng to their current or most recent marriage. The questionnaire asked r espondent s to answer how they f elt towards their parent s -inlaw-- fee lings of closeness towards them; titles used to address them; how troublesome they were perceived to be; the type of help received from them; and how their parents-in-l aw compared to other parents-inlaw. The fo llowing findings were derived from the data using the chi square test, mean scores and F ratios: 1. Respondents 30 year s of age and older felt significantly closer emotionally to their parents-in-law than did those 25-29 years of age . 2. Those 30 years of age and older felt their fathers-inlaw were less troublesome than those 25-29. 3. Those 30 years of age and older felt emotionally closer to their mothers-in-l aw than those 25-29. 4. Females did feel emot ionally c l oser to their mothersin- law than males. They also addressed their fathers-in-law in a more positive and personal manner, but when their mean scores and F ratios were analyzed for the problematic and closeness index there were no significant differences. 5. Those with one child fe lt significantly closer to their mothers-in-law than those with two or more or no children. 6. Those with a high schoo l or less education felt significantl y c loser to their mothers-in-law than those with some college. The sample was drawn from a university related population, and from a heavily weighted religious group. Both of which could bias the above finding.
Watkins, Carlos F., "Husbands' and Wives' Perceptions of Their In-Law Parents" (1978). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 2294.
Copyright for this work is retained by the student. If you have any questions regarding the inclusion of this work in the Digital Commons, please email us at .