|Abstract or Summary
- The major purpose of this study was to assess changes
in behavioral understanding and attitudes students may have
experienced in association with their participation in a
high school child development course. In addition, assessments
were made of changes in subject's perceptions cf:
1) marriage role expectation, 2) self-concept, and 3) their
ideal marriage partner.
The subjects, a total of 57 sophomore, junior and
senior high school students enrolled in a child development
course, were divided into three groups on the basis of the
number of terms enrolled. This resulted in the following
treatment groups: Group I (N=28) completed one term, Group
II (N=16) completed two terms and Group III (N=13) completed
three terms. The course was planned to be a full year
class, however, it was designed for each term to be a
relatively self-contained unit. Therefore, a student could
enter the class at the beginning of any term and leave after
completing one term of study and still receive a reasonably
comprehensive course of study. All students elected the
course and further, elected to complete one, two or three
Non-parametric analyses were used to test five null
hypothesis generated for this study. Four hypotheses were
related to changes in behavioral understanding, marriage
role expectation, self-concept and ideal marriage partner.
Data were collected in a pretest posttest situation using
the Film Test for Understanding Behavior (FUB), the Dunn
Marital Role Expectation Inventory (DMREI) and the
Interpersonal Checklist (ICL). Each hypothesis was tested
independently for each of the three groups using the
Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test.
The Kruskall-Wallis one-way analysis of variance was
used to test a fifth hypothesis by comparing the amount of
change recorded in each dependent variable with respect to
the number of terms enrolled in the course.
The findings in this study reveal that eleven of the
twelve difference scores for the three groups on the FUB
showed an increase and six of these eleven were significant.
Group II showed the greatest amount of change, followed by
Group I in both quantity and significance of change and
finally by Group III. Overall, the results clearly indicate
that students did experience an increase in the understanding
of the behavior of young children as a result of their
association with the child development class.
Pretest scores for each of the groups indicated a
clear preference for an egalatarian relationship in marriage.
Over time, each group increased in its preference
for this role relationship; for Group I and Group II that
shift was significant.
In this study, self-concept, as measured by the ICL
remained relatively stable with only one of the six change
scores for the three groups, reaching significance.
Subject's perceptions of an ideal mate indicated a
desire to find mates who were less dominant and loving than
pretest scores revealed although there were no significant
change scores associated with this trend.
Comparisons of the amount of change evidenced by the
three groups for Hypothesis V showed that there was a significant
difference in one area; that associated with the
Film Test Score. Two other scores approached significance
level; that for the Knowledge subscale and the Dunn Egalatarian
Possible explanations for the observed changes were
discussed with particular emphasis on the significant findings
regarding behavioral understanding.
Limitations of the study and suggestions for further
research are discussed.