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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1961. Department of Home Economics.


Copyright 1961, the author. Used by permission.


Feminine role conflict has been studied to some extent from the viewpoint of the wife. However, very little research has been conducted to investigate the position of the husband in this conflicting situation. There is a need to examine the wife’s role specifically from the husband’s perspective to see if his attitudes and understandings in any way influence role conflict.

The general procedure was to have young and mature couples respond to a five-point scale to items selected from four role areas of housekeeping, child rearing, companion-partner, and personal development. The wives were asked to rate how well they “liked” the tasks and how well they “should like” them to be the ideal homemaker. The husbands were asked to indicate how much they thought their wives “liked” to perform their tasks, and how well the ideal wide “should like” to perform them.

The sample consisted of two groups of married couples. The young group consisted of couples age 20 to 35; the mature group included couples age 50 to 65.

The results of the study conclude that each of the three factors examined in this study contributes in some degree to feminine role conflict. They are as follows:

(1) a lack of understanding on the part of both young and mature husbands of their wives’ attitudes toward their role-related activities,

(2) a lack of congruence of opinion on the part of both young and mature husbands and wives with regard to the “ideal” role of the wife, and

(3) apparent dissatisfaction on the part of both the young and mature husbands with their wives’ role performance.

These conclusions suggests that a lack of communication between husbands and wives may be a basic cause of the conflict. Further research is necessary to confirm the above findings and to determine any possible relationship they may have to marital happiness or unhappiness.

Advisor: Harold Abel