Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Jay D. Schvaneveldt


Jay D. Schvaneveldt


Glen O. Jenson


Donald V. Sisson


The purpose of this research was to study several dimensions of family strengths in family systems and to determine to what degree these strengths are passed from one generation to the next.

The sample consisted of 23 couples, constituting the married child generation, and each husband's father and each wife's mother, constituting the parent generation, for a total of 23 family systems and a total N of 92 . Each person involved in the study had to be in their first marriage and have at least one child.

A significant (alpha .05) difference was found between the father and son generations on the relative and friend support and the professional support. The alpha levels for differences between mothers and daughters on these two dimensions were .146 (relative and friend support) and .190 (professional support). A factorial analysis of variance suggests these differences are between generations rather than between genders of family groups.

Significant correlations were found between the fathers' family togetherness score and the sons' family flexibility score and between the fathers' quality of life and the sons' family confidence and family coping and coherence scores, at (r = .4876, p = .018), and (r = .4582, p = .028), respectively, and between the fathers' family discord and the sons' family discord scores at (r = .4381, p = 037). Corresponding correlation values for the mothers and daughters were (r = .0367, p = .868); (r = -.2049, p = .348); (r = -.0234, p = 916); and (r = .0011, p = .996). A significant correlation was found between mothers and daughters on the mothers' relative and friend support score and the daughters' family confidence score at (r = .4215, p = .045), while the corresponding coefficient for fathers and sons was (r = -.3911, p = .065).

Significant correlations were found more often than were significant differences. The results also indicate that the males are more volatile than the females in terms of significant findings on the family strength measures.