Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Gerald Adams


Gerald Adams


Jay Schvaneveldt


Charles Johnson


Kent Robson


Prior research has suggested age related changes in attitudes toward love. The present study was completed to extend this assumption to high school and college educated samples and across stage of life. Both samples included a proportionate number of males to females . A new instrument (measuring a Conjugal Love Factor, Romantic Power Factor and a Romantic Idealism Factor) was generated for use in this study. In addition the Knox Love Attitude Inventory (1970), the Rubin Love Scale (1970) and a short form of Rotter's I-E Scale (Vlecha and Ostrom, 1974) were also administered to each sample.

Results indicated that the high school sample held more romantic attitudes and fluctuated in their attitudes toward love over the various stages of life more than the college sample. Fluctuation for the high school sample, on most instruments involved a significant digression in romantic attitudes when children were being reared in the home and a sharp rise in romantic conceptions when children were no longer in the home (curvilinear relationship). Conjugal attitudes for the high school group followed a linear progression. The high school educated sample began low in conjugal attitudes but progressed across the stages to a more conjugal conception of love . Locus of control was also found to affect the way in which one viewed love, particularly in adolescence. Internal adolescents were significantly less romantic than external adolescents. Surprisingly sex differences were not found to consistently affect love attitudes.