Social motivation and clothing selection problems of the classic achondroplastic dwarf Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/47429d39j

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  • Achondroplastic dwarf men and women find it difficult to acquire clothing that fits well. Their major problem is that their torso is long in relationship to the length of their arms and legs, but other physical problems do enter into the selection and construction of clothing. The multiplicity of their physical problems makes construction or selection of garments to meet the needs of the wearer a real challenge. This study was designed: (1) to define more fully the problems dwarfed men and women have acquiring clothing, (2) to determine the nature of their motivation in dress, (3) to determine the association between clothing and social participation, and (4) to determine the type and number of alterations perceived necessary in clothing. Measures were selected and adapted or constructed by the author to gain the necessary information. The questionnaire was mailed to 50 men and 50 women identified as achondroplastic dwarfs. Twenty-two men and 29 women returned the completed questionnaire. The t-test was employed to determine if there were significant differences between the sexes for the following variables of interest: degree of interest in clothing, degree of conformity in dress, amount of social participation, suitability of clothing for social occasions, relationship of suitability of clothing to the acceptance of social invitations, number of alterations perceived to be necessary in clothing. Pearson r correlation coefficients were computed and r values arrived at for each null hypothesis to be tested. The t-test was then employed to determine the significance of correlations between the demographic variables of age, height, weight, occupation, education, income and the variables of interest. Percentages were computed for the men and women to determine the major source of their daytime outer wear, the amount of ready-made clothing requiring alteration, the type of alteration perceived necessary and the amount of custom-made clothing constructed in the home. Conclusions were that the women were more interested in clothing than the men. These women respondents were most often in professional or skilled occupations. Shorter men in the study were found to be more conforming than taller men. Men and women in the study with more years of education and in professional and skilled occupations were more likely to participate in formal social organizations than men and women with fewer years of education and occupations in the semi-skilled, unskilled and nonemployed ranks. Weight was negatively correlated with the number of alterations perceived to be necessary in clothing for the men. A small negative relationship also existed between height and number of alterations perceived to be necessary for the women. This would seem to indicate that shorter, lighter-weight subjects perceived the need for more alterations in their clothing. The source of daytime outer wear was positively correlated with age and negatively correlated with height; older, shorter men and women had more custom-made clothing than younger, taller men and women. Both the men and women bought the majority of their daytime outer wear ready-made. Approximately one-half of these men and women said that over 50% of their ready-made clothing required alteration. The alterations most often needed were to shorten sleeves, skirts and/or trousers and to shorten the bodice or torso length of garments. Although alterations were perceived to be necessary in a large number of their ready-made garments, only 27% of the men and 35% of the women in the study had their clothing custom-made. The custom-made clothing was most often for men and women in the lower income brackets and the clothing was most often custom-made in the home.
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