Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Extension Education

Major Professor

Cecil Carter Jr

Committee Members

Robert Dotson, Helen Radar


The major purpose of this study was to determine the influence of selected characteristics, family patterns, economic standards and clothing problems of the low-income homemakers in Macon County on their participation in a clothing construction workshop. Another purpose was to determine changes in homemakers' sewing skills brought about by attendance at a clothing construction workshop.

One hundred low-income homemakers were studied. Fifty participated in a clothing construction workshop. The remaining 50 were selected at random from a list of low-income homemakers, who were not participants in the workshop and were used as a comparison group.

Two questionnaires were used to secure data. One questionnaire was designed to secure information concerning personal, family and other characteristics of low-income homemakers which were thought to influence homemakers' participation in the workshop. This information was secured through personal and group interviews.

The other data collection instrument was designed to determine the degree to which low-income homemakers were able to perform 15 selected sewing skills. Each homemaker completed this checklist before and after the workshop.

Overall Economic Opportunity Homemaker Aids helped the Extension Home Agent in securing data. They also provided transportation for low-income homemakers to attend the clothing construction workshop.

A contingency Table Analysis Program was used to analyze data. This program computed percentages, chi square values and degree of freedom. Chi square values which achieved the .05 level were accepted as significant. A t test was used to determine significance of differences in pre-test and post-test scores on clothing construction skills.

Major findings of the study were as follows:

1. Participation in the workshop was not influenced by the personal characteristics (marital status, age, education, family income, husbands' occupation, place of residence and number of children) of the homemakers, except type of work performed by the homemakers. Homemakers who worked in a factory tended not to attend the workshop.

2. Participation in the workshop was influenced by the sources of homemaking information used by the homemakers. Participants in the workshop tended to be those who had previously secured homemaking information from either the Extension Service or the Office of Economic Opportunity. Nonparticipants relied primarily upon the Health Department for homemaking information.

3. Participation in the workshop was influenced by homemakers' knowledge of and involvement in community organizations and in events and activities. Workshop participants were more active than nonparticipants in church work, work of the Office of Economic Opportunity and Home Demonstration Clubs and other community programs.

4. Ownership of sewing equipment had a significant influence on low-income homemakers' participation in a clothing construction workshop. Those homemakers participating owned more pieces of sewing equipment, including sewing machines, than did the nonparticipants.

5. The skills checklist revealed that low-income homemakers participating in the workshop made a significant improvement (posttest over pre-test) in test scores on the 15 clothing construction skills. There was no significant difference in pre-test and post-test scores by homemakers who did not attend the workshop.

Implications and recommendations also were made.

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