Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Human Development, Consumer and Family Sciences


This study investigated how families influence the adolescent in the receptivity of marriage education. The family influences investigated were parents' annual income, religiosity, family cohesiveness, family adaptability, parent-child communication, adolescents' self-esteem, and family structure. The 474 participants in this study were from South Dakota and California. Demographic information which includes parents' annual income and participation in religious activities, along with scales for cohesiveness, adaptability, parent-child communication, and self-esteem were used in a hierarchical regression to assess their relationships with divorce attitudes, marriage attitudes, attitudes toward counseling, attitudes toward cohabitation, and conflict tactics. Family structure was used in an analysis of variance with the dependent variables. A post hoc stepwise regression analysis was performed with each of the dependent variables with the same independent variables previously listed in order to better understand the relationship between the components of the composite variable, marriage education receptivity. The adolescent has spent many years observing values, attitudes, and behaviors within their families so will be likely to implement their own values by what they have first learned from their families. The order of the regression will be chosen first by attitudes, values, and behaviors influenced overall by the family and then lastly by the factors the adolescent would choose on their own. The results of this study found three significant findings. Students who reported higher parent-child communication became less likely to see divorce favorably. Adolescents who had higher family adaptability scores and higher parent-child communication scores were less likely to have made a change in using verbal aggression in their relationships. Finally, the lower the parents' annual income the more likely the adolescent made a change in their use of violence in relationships.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Family life education Marriage Teenagers -- Family relationships Teenagers -- Attitudes



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University