Values and attitudes as measures of intergenerational differences Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zp38wg43x

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  • The purpose of this study was to identify the values and attitudes of a group of freshman female students and their parents and to determine if value and attitude differences existed between these two groups. Therefore, of equal importance in the study was the quantification of intergenerational differences. The subjects were 161 freshman females and their parents (160 mothers and 153 fathers). The sample was representative of the O.S.U. freshman female population. The Rokeach Value Survey, Form D and the University-Student Relationships Attitude Survey were the instruments utilized to measure values and attitudes. Demographic data were obtained by means of a brief check list. Twenty-four null hypotheses concerning differences in median rankings of terminal values (end-states of existence) and instrumental values (preferred modes of conduct) were tested using a non-parametric one-way analysis of variance, a non-parametric two-way analysis of variance, and a t-test. It was hypothesized that value and attitude differences existed between the group of students and the group of parents and that value and attitude differences existed between student subgroups defined on the basis of birth order, religion, parents' level of education, family socio-economic level, and home town size. The results of the study showed: 1. Students valued the terminal value a world at peace as the most important end-state of existence closely followed by the value freedom, whereas parents valued family security as the most important end-state of existence followed by wisdom. 2. Those terminal values that were least desirable for the student group were national security and social recognition, whereas parents ranked the values social recognition and pleasure last. 3. Both students and parents valued the instrumental value honest as the most important preferred mode of conduct. 4. The least important instrumental values for both groups were imaginative and obedient. 5. Significant differences in median rankings were found on 11 of the 18 terminal values and nine of the 18 instrumental values in the daughter-mother analysis, on 12 of the 18 terminal values and 12 of the 18 instrumental values in the daughter-father analysis, and on 12 of the 18 terminal values and 13 of the 18 instrumental values in the student group and total parent group analysis. 6. From the subgroup analyses, it was found that the variables of birth order and religious affiliation influenced the students' ordering of terminal values. Further, the interaction effect of the variables birth order and parents' level of education influenced the importance that the students assigned to instrumental values. 7. Both the group of students and the group of parents were in agreement on the attitude items, and each exhibited "liberal" or non-restrictive attitudes concerning University-student relationships. 8. The variables of birth order, religious affiliation, and family socio-economic level influenced student responses on attitude items concerning University-student relationships. The results showed that although significant differences in rankings of values occurred between the group of students and the group of parents, the relative positions of the top nine values in the value hierarchy were highly similar for both groups. Neither students nor parents perceived great value differences between the two groups, and few believed that a generation gap existed. Further, no differences were found on the attitude statements concerning University-student relationships, as both groups exhibited "liberal," non-restrictive attitudes. Thus, the major conclusion of the study was that both the students and the parents possessed similar value systems and that intergenerational differences between the student group and the parent group were relatively small. Explanations concerning the results of the study are offered, and further research recommendations are proposed.
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