- The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of social
position and stage in the family life cycle on the use of living and
family rooms in houses with and without a family room.
Homes built from two floorplans were selected for the sample.
These two floorplans were similar in square footage and room layout
with the exception one plan included a family room. The 76 addresses
of the population to be studied were obtained from Harman Homes.
The addresses of 34 Laura houses and 42 Judy houses were received,
The occupants living at these addresses were contacted to request an
interview. The families selected met the criterion that both the husband
and wife were presently living in the house.
Of the 76 occupants contacted, 61 -- 27 Laura occupants and
34 Judy occupants -- met the criteria and consented to be interviewed.
Of the 61 occupants interviewed, 37 occupants completed and returned
diary records, 15 Judy and 22 Laura interviewees,
Hollingshead's "Two Factor Index of Social Position" was used
to classify interviewees into low, middle, or high social position.
Interviewees were placed into one of these three stages of the family
life cycle: beginning stage, expanding stage, or contracting stage.
Three types of room use were studied: (1) time use, (2) activity
use, and (3) activity time use. Time use was the actual amount of
time in minutes or hours the room was occupied in a 24 hour day.
Activity use was the number of activities pursued in the room regardless
of the number of people involved or amount of time spent in the
activity, The highest number of activities any one category could
have for one day was 24 or 144 for the six activity categories: interaction
activities, home operations, audio-visual activities, sleep/
rest/relaxation, job or school operations, and simultaneous multiple
activities. Activity time use was the number of man hours involved
in specific activity in a given room and was computed by multiplying
the number of people involved in activity by amount of time spent in
Interview schedules and diary records were tabulated and
analyzed to describe the sample and report room use.
The living room in the house without a family room was used an
average of 7.9 hours per day. However, in the house with the family room, the living room was used an average of 4.6 hours per day and
the family room was used 5. 9 hours per day. The combined use of
these two rooms averaged 10.5 hours. Of the 10.5 hours, 43 percent
was spent in the living room and 57 percent was spent in the family
room. The living room in houses without a family room was used an
average of 75 percent of the combined room use of living and family
rooms in houses with a family room. However, the living room in
houses without a family room was used 42 percent more than the living
room was used and 25 percent more than the family room was
used in houses with both living and family rooms.
Audio-visual and interaction activities occurred with the greatest
frequency in the living and family rooms studied while job or
school operations occurred least frequently. When reported, sleep/
rest/relaxation occurred most in the family rooms.
Generally, as stage in the family life cycle changed, the time
use, activity use, and activity time use of the living and family rooms
increased. However, as social position became higher, the time use,
activity use, and activity time use of the living and family rooms decreased