Date of Award:

1980

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Jay D. Schvaneveldt

Abstract

The effects of birth order on achievement have been under investigation continually resulting in reported prominence of first born children in various areas of achievement. The purpose of this study was to provide further investigation into the effects of birth order on the achievement hypothesis using the attainment of the Eagle Scout Award as the dependent variable. Five hypotheses were formulated from a review of literature which included: (1) boys in the first born position are more likely to attain the Eagle Scout Award than boys in later born positions, (2) family income is associated with attaining the Eagle Scout Award, (3) high scores on the Ignoring scale by the mothers are associated with attaining the Eagle Scout Award, (4) high scores on the Dominance scale by the mothers are associated with attaining the Eagle Scout Award, (5) low scores on the Possessive scale by the fathers are associated with attaining the Eagle Scout Award.

One hundred ten families with at least one son who had attained the Eagle Scout Award were included in the study. Each parent was asked to complete a questionnaire which provided information concerning family demographics such as parents' birth order, birth order and sex of children, highest scouting award of male children and the father, religious attendance of parents and scouts, education level of parents, occupations of parents, and family income. Parents were asked to report the supportive actions they provided for their sons in scouting activities and their perceived strength of the troops' programs, and importance of selected individuals to their sons attaining the Eagle Award.

Chi-square tests calculated for the formulated hypotheses gave the following results: (1) boys from later born positions were just as likely to attain the Eagle Scout Award as boys in the first born position, (2) families of lower income levels were just as likely to have multiple Eagles within their families as families of higher income levels, (3) mothers who scored low on the Ignoring scale were just as likely to have multiple Eagles in their families as mothers who scored high on the Ignoring scale, (4) mothers who scored low on the Dominance scale were just as likely to have multiple Eagles in their families as mothers who scored high on the Dominance scale, (5) fathers who scored high on the Possessive scale were just as likely to have multiple Eagles in their families as fathers who scored low on the Possessive scale.

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