Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family, Consumer, and Human Development


Kathleen W. Piercy


This study researched the meaning of being single among 24 college-age adults of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e., Mormons). It examined influences on the construction of meanings of singlehood, gender patterns regarding the meaning of singlehood, and pressures on L.D.S. singles to date and marry.

The most important finding was that positive attitudes toward singlehood are more prevalent than negative or ambivalent attitudes. Families, as gate-keepers and transmitters of cultural information about singlehood and marriage, and the L.D.S. religion were the strongest influences on the development of meanings of singlehood. Families and religion mutually influence one another and meanings of singlehood, and supportive friends helped singles feel that they are not alone. Although there was more variation within than between gender accounts of singlehood, important patterns in construction of attitudes were also discovered. Participants felt both external and internal pressures to date and marry.