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


Copyright 1950, the author. Used by permission.


PURPOSE:The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not any relationship exists between personal appearance and social acceptance in grade or high school pupils as measured by personal appearance rating scales and sociometric tests.

SUBJECTS:240 Lincoln, Nebraska Public School children in grades ranging from II to XI served as subjects for this study.

PROCEDURE: Personal appearance rating scales for both grade and high school children were developed, with a mean observer reliability of 92% between two raters.Three sociometric tests were devised, one for use in grades 2 and 3, one for grade 5, and another for high school students.All children in grades 2 and 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 were measured for personal appearance and social acceptance.


  1. There was a small but consistent increase in the mean Personal Appearance scores of the subjects from grades 2 and 3, to 11.

  2. For all grade levels (elementary, junior-high, and senior high) girls’ mean Personal Appearance scores were significantly higher than those of boys.

  3. There was a tendency for girls to score higher in Social Acceptance than boys, although this sex difference was not statistically reliable.

  4. Coefficients of correlation, ranging from +.261 to +.603, were found to exist between the Personal Appearance and Social Acceptance scores R’s of +.544 and +.603 of the 7th and 8th grades, respectively, were significant at the 1% level of confidence.

  5. When calculated for the two sexes separately, the r’s for the girls were consistently higher than those of the boys. The r of +.328 for Junior High boys was significant at the 5% level of confidence, and those of +.423 and +.531 for the Junior and Senior High girls, respectively, was significant at the 1% level.

Advisor:Ruth Staples