Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Department name when degree awarded

Home Economics and Consumer Education

Committee Chair(s)

Jane McCullough


Jane McCullough


Edith Gunnell


Charlotte Brennand


This study was conducted as part of an 11-state study on family time use coordinated by Cornell University. The particular emphasis of this research was family meal patterns. The independent variables were (1) homemaker's education, (2) homemaker's employment, (3) income of the family, and (4) place of residence of the family. These were analyzed in relation to the amount of time (1) spent in meal preparation, (2) the number of meals the family ate together, and (3) where the family ate their meals. The literature indicated that in the past the homemaker has done most of the meal preparation. It also indicated that American families are eating fewer meals together as a family, and are eating more meals away from home than previously.

The analysis of the data collected in this study indicated that meal preparation is still a task done mostly by the homemaker. Homemakers with some college education and those who were full-time homemakers spent more time in meal preparation than other homemakers.

Families with higher incomes, families with employed mothers and those families who lived in an urban area ate more meals away from home than other families. Families ate fewer meals together than had been anticipated, the average being slightly less than one meal a day together as a family.