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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1950. Department of Home Economics.


Copyright 1950, the author. Used by permission.


This study is being made to develop a short, usable scale for measuring socio-economic status which can be easily administered to Nebraska farm families. In order to accomplish this purpose the following steps are being taken:

  1. Selection of items that have been found significant in existing scales and studies.

  2. Testing the selected items to determine their significance in measuring the socio-economic status of Nebraska farm families.

  3. Determination of weights for the significant items through the use of approved techniques.

  4. Arrangement of the significant items and weights in a scale form, which can be easily administered.

  5. Application of the constructed scale by (a) scoring the families used in the present study as working data and (b) relating the constructed scale to other measures of socio-economic status of farm families.

Data for the study was selected from records obtained between April 1948, and June 1949, from 558 households outside of the incorporated limits of Nebraska towns and cities. These records were secured, primarily, for a survey by the Nebraska Experiment Station, related to the housing needs of farm families.

Using a 23-page schedule, the records were obtained by interviewing the senior homemaker of each household. The schedule used was identical to that developed and used for a regional study of housing needs and preferences of farm families undertaken, cooperatively, by the North Central States and the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics of the United States Department of Agriculture.The Statistical Laboratory of Iowa State College helped in constructing and testing the regional schedule and in selecting and training the interviewers so that the questions would be clearly stated and uniformly interpreted.

The study concluded that it was possible to construct a socio-economic scale which is applicable to Nebraska farm families. It is short, usable and composed of statistically significant items, whose weights were computed by approved techniques.However, the investigator indicates there is further need for testing to increase its reliability.

Advisors: Margaret I. Liston and Kenneth Cannon