Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Jane L. McCullough


Jane L. McCullough


Brian Pitcher


Jean Lown


Marilyn Noyes


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of household appliances and the division of labor in accomplishing household tasks in the family. It investigated the relationship between ownership of specific items of household equipment and the performance of directly related household tasks and the overall ownership of household equipment and the overall division of labor in the family.

Data for this study came from "Determinants and outcomes of Household Time Use," which is part of the S-206 Regional Research Project. Data from 214 two-parent, two-child households were analyzed to determine the relationship between ownership of household equipment and time spent in three categories of household tasks by husbands, wives and children. Ownership of household equipment was determined by means of an equipment inventory. The ownership of appliances and their relationship to the performance of directly associated tasks included: (microwave oven and time spent in food preparation; (2) dishwasher and garbage disposal and time spent in dishwashing; and (3) power garden and/or yard equipment and power shop tools and time spent in maintenance of home, yard, car, and pets.

The total time spent in household production by husbands, wives, children and its relationship to the total number of household appliances owned was also studied.

The t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Kruskal-Wallis were used to analyze the differences in proportion of time spent in the various household tasks by wives, husbands, and children by ownership of related household equipment. No significant differences were found in the proportion of time spent in food preparation, dishwashing, and maintenance by wives, husbands, and children in households that did and did not own the related household equipment. The correlation between level of equipment ownership and husbands' and children's proportion of total family time spent in household work was not significant indicating that as more equipment is acquired husbands and children do not contribute a smaller proportion of total family time in household work.