Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The main purpose of this research was to determine whether a behavioural family structure variable, based on the job orientation of both spouses, is a relevant variable by which to segment the nuclear family market. The six family structure segments included in the study were career/career, career/income, income/career, income/income, non-working/career, and non-working/income families. The behaviour that was examined was the wife's use of consumption-related household management strategies to allocate her time and energy to her role in the preparation of food for regular family meals. Role commitment was used as an intervening variable between family structure, the independent variable, and the wives' behaviour, the dependent variable.;The data were acquired from 485 married couples through four data collection instruments: a telephone screening interview, a one-week diary of who prepared food for regular family meals, a comprehensive self-completion questionnaire for the wife, and a short self-completion questionnaire for the husband. Predominantly ANOVA procedures were used to analyze the data.;The results showed that there were differences among the wives in the six family structure groups in the frequency with which they used twelve of the twenty-three strategies examined. However, these differences were essentially equivalent to those highlighted when the wife's employment status or wife's job orientation were used as segmentation variables. The findings also showed some support for using role commitment as an intervening variable between family structure and the frequency with which some of the strategies were used, although overall the wives' commitment to their food preparation role was low.;An important limitation of the research appeared to be a result of the specific role that was studied. The social context and inherent nature of the wife's food preparation role act to slow any changes in how the role is managed. Recommendations for future research include the use of roles which have changed commensurably with other changes in the roles of women, such as food shopping, child care, and leisure roles.



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