- The purposes of the study were to explore the possibility of
relationships existing among clothing behavior, attitudes toward
certain clothing standards, interest in clothes, religious orthodoxy,
and conformity among a group of Seventh-day Adventist college girls;
and to determine whether or not factors of socio-economic level,
type of secondary education (parochial, non-parochial), and
church membership background affected these relationships.
To measure these relationships a questionnaire containing five
scales was developed. Two scales, attitude and behavior, were devised
by the writer; three were adapted from existing measures.
The attitude and behavior scales were based on statements from the
clothing literature of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination and reflected
a conservative interpretation of their clothing standards.
The five scales were scored on the basis of agreement or
disagreement, from one to five, with this interpretation of the
standards. Low scores indicated agreement and high scores
showed disagreement. Four judges evaluated the measure for
validity and appropriateness to the subjects to be tested after
which a pretest was given to 22 girls in a western Seventh-day
Adventist college. The results of this pretest were analyzed and
the measure was revised where necessary.
The participants were 167 girls in a midwestern Adventist
university. The information describing the subjects revealed that
most of them were Seventh-day Adventists, from Seventh-day Adventist
homes, who had graduated from Adventist secondary schools
which they had attended for at least two years. They were members
of the middle and lower socio-economic groups, from small
urban centers or farms (one-fourth came from urban areas of over
100,000 people). These subjects were not chosen randomly and
therefore the findings are applicable only to the participants.
An analysis of the data revealed that there were significant
relationships between clothing behavior, attitude toward the clothing
standards of the church, and religious orthodoxy. Conformity did
not appear to be significantly related to the first four variables in
this study. Attitude was the most important factor in reflecting
clothing behavior; orthodoxy ranked next. Clothing interest was of only slight value in reflecting clothing behavior, for these subjects.
Two intervening variables--socio-economic level and type of
secondary education--were not significantly related to clothing behavior,
attitude, interest, orthodoxy or to conformity. Church
membership background (including subjects' and parents' church
membership) was not related to any of these variables except religious
orthodoxy. It was found to be moderately correlated with
orthodoxy and, therefore, the effects of these factors could not be
Conclusions were that relationships did exist among the variables
of clothing behavior, attitude, interest, and orthodoxy, but
not conformity; and that factors of socio-economic level, type of
secondary education, and church membership background did not
relate to any of these variables except orthodoxy for this group of
In general the subjects who agreed most with Seventh-day
Adventist clothing standards in their clothing behavior agreed in
their attitude toward the standards, were more orthodox to the
church, and somewhat less interested in clothes, than subjects who
disagreed with the clothing standards defined by this measure.