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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1956. Department of Home Economics.


Copyright, the author. Used by permission.


The objectives of this research were to determine how young Ceylonese people actually feel about arranged marriages, marriages for love, the dowry and how they think their parents feel about these customs. Another objective was to determine if young boys and girls differed in respect to accepting the emerging role for women among the educated classes, such as a wife securing employment outside of the home.

A questionnaire was developed concerning the opinions of the young people, and how they think their parents feel, and the adherence of their parents and grandparents to certain marriage customs.

The writer selected schools in Colombo, Ceylon, of various types, including Buddhist, Hindu, Islam, Christian, and non-denominational. Since the big majority of schools were not co-educational, both boys’ and girls’ schools were included. The schools were selected with a view of obtaining a cross-section of socioeconomic levels, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Though the number of Christian schools out-numbered all other religious schools it might be pointed out that in some Christian schools the number of Christian pupils might be less than half the enrollment of students, whereas in a Buddhist, Hindu, or Islam school, the number of Christian students enrolled would be negligible. Of 13 girls’ schools contacted only 5 cooperated whereas of the 9 boys’ schools, 8 cooperated.

The questionnaires were personally delivered to the head of each school by the writer’s husband or friends, with a request that they be given to the students. A covering letter accompanied each packet of questionnaires with a written statement that only the students who had sat for the Senior School Certificate examinations and were presently in the University Entrance classes, or studying for the Higher Schools Certificate examination, or in Special Home Science classes were to answer the questionnaire.

Advisor: Kenneth L. Cannon