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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1973. Department of Home Economics.


Copyright 1973, the author. Used by permission.


The purpose of this study was to describe the wardrobes of women receiving Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) payments.The study was undertaken to determine if factors such as number of children, involvement in activities outside of the home, and employment outside of the home would affect the amount and type of clothing owned by these women.The wardrobes were analyzed according to the number of items, the type of item, the cost, the acquisition method, the season and occasion worn, and the age of the item.

A random sample of Lancaster County, Nebraska ADC recipients were given the opportunity to choose to participate in the study.A letter was sent to all the mothers and those willing to participate were asked to return an enclosed postcard.The acceptance rate was about 20 percent.

A total of forty mothers were interviewed in their homes. The oldest child if he or she was a teenager was also interviewed. The interview schedule included a wardrobe inventory developed and pretested at the University of Minnesota.

At the first interview, background information including: number of children, full or part-time employment, and number of activities involved in outside of the home was obtained. The wardrobe inventory schedule was left with each participant.Directions were given for completion of the inventory.One week later the interviewer returned to pick up the wardrobe inventory, to check for completeness, and to answer any questions.

Since this study was concerned with the mothers’ wardrobe inventories, only the data for the mothers were utilized. The data were first analyzed as to wardrobe composition using a series of charts to show the distribution of various items of clothing.Charts were drafted for eight clothing categories: coats, jackets, and dresses, sportswear, skirts, blouses, sweaters and sweatshirts, uniforms, and footwear, which indicated relationships among costs, season, occasion, acquisition, and age of garment. The Goodman-Kruskal Tau statistical test was used in the analysis of the data.

Three factors that affect wardrobe composition were analyzed, employment, number of children and number of activities involved in outside of the home.These factors were classified as follows: employment – employed full-time outside of the home or unemployed; number of children – less than three or three or more; number of activities involved in outside of the home – less than three or three or more. Further analysis of the wardrobe inventories included two of the clothing categories, coats and footwear.These two categories were selected by the researcher because they are necessary items for the climate of Nebraska and therefore would most likely be included in all of the wardrobe inventories.

Advisor: Patricia Sailor