- This study was designed (1) to identify and describe young
homemakers' problems through expressed difficulties in homemaking
activities, (2) to investigate the relationship between the expressed
problem areas and the homemakers' length of marriage,
family composition, employment status and family income, and
(3) to determine additional homemaking information young homemakers
want and the source from which they would like to obtain it.
The sample consisted of 50 homemakers married in their teens.
They were all 22 years old or younger, had been married at least six
months, but no longer than three years, and were living in Corvallis,
Oregon, at the time of the interviews. Thirty-one were student and
19 non-student wives. Stratified sampling was utilized for determining
the over-all sample. Random sampling was the technique used
to select the sub-sample from each of the two given strata, student
and non- student wives. The average age of the homemakers was 20.1 years and the
average length of their marriages was 2.2 years. Of these homemakers,
29 had had or were expecting children. Twenty-three were
gainfully employed on a full-time basis. Eight had assumed a triple
role of homemaker, part-time employee, and student; however, seven
were combining the roles of homemaker and student. Twelve were
full-time homemakers. The income of these families ranged from
under $3,000 to $15,000 per annum.
The homemakers expressed difficulty in each of the 16 homemaking
activity areas investigated in the study. The homemaking
activities studied were planning meals, buying food, preparing food,
serving food, preserving food, buying clothing, sewing, caring for
clothing, finding a place to live, furnishing the house, equipping the
the house, caring for the house, getting ready and caring for the
baby, managing money, providing transportation and participating
in community organizations. Each homemaker reported difficulty
with from one-half to all of the 16 activities. Based on weighted
percentages, their major problem was participating in community
organizations. The next most frequently reported problem activities
were preserving food, caring for the house, sewing, buying
clothing, and equipping the house.
Of the 33 factors and resources indicated as causing difficulties
in the 16 homemaking activity areas, time, money, knowledge, space and equipment were most frequently stated.
Homemaking tasks most enjoyed by the majority of homemakers
were preparing food, sewing, and housecleaning. On the other hand,
ironing, housecleaning, and washing dishes were the tasks least enjoyed.
Length of marriage, presence of children, employment status,
and income seemed to be somewhat related to the number and kinds
of problems these homemakers experienced with their homemaking
activities, even though the chi-square tests indicated that this relationship
was significant at the .05 level in only two of the 16 activities
investigated. These were between preparing food and the homemakers'
length of marriage, and between buying clothing and the homemakers'
These young homemakers married in their teens recognized
their needs and expressed a desire for additional information to help
them cope with their homemaking problems. More than 80 percent
requested information on furnishing the house, sewing, and preparing
food; however, 50 percent or more of them asked for help with eight (
of the 16 homemaking activities. The most requested first choice
source for homemaking information was through group meetings;
however, magazines, bulletins, newsletters, and books were each
mentioned frequently as acceptable sources of information.
It was apparent from this study that these young homemakers
were confronted with a variety of everyday homemaking problems that require solutions. Whether or not these were solved
successfully depended upon the careful and wise choices of resources
and decisions made by the homemaker and her family.