Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Family life education -- Curricula, Jason Lee School (Portland, Or.)



Physical Description

1 online resource (133 p.)


In this study the trends of social work were examined and the importance of the family in social work practice was identified. The changing role of the school and its relevance to the total welfare of the child was historically documented. The components of the family life education movement were analyzed as were the social forces which contributed to its growth and development. The incorporation of family life education into the schools was reviewed. The active involvement of several disciplines and numerous national organizations, as well as the federal government, was identified in this process.

The opposition to family life education being taught in the schools was identified as the problem to be examined in this study. The writer postulated that parents would be in favor of the school's teaching family life education if their knowledge concerning what was being taught was correct. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that if parents did not have correct information they would be more likely to disagree with the school's teaching family life education.

A randomly selected parent sample was drawn from an elementary school to test the hypothetical relationship between variables. A pre-test contributed to the development of a questionnaire that was better suited for use in this study. Nine representative family life education topics were included in a matrix format and five questions were asked to measure their knowledge and attitudes. Personal data concerning the age, occupation, ages of children, education, and church affiliation was supplied by the parents. A second instrument was designed to assess what was actually being taught by the teachers of the school. The same topics were used as on the parents' questionnaire.

The final response rate for the parents was 87. 5% and for the teachers the return was 65. 3%. Limitations in the data collected prevented the verification of the hypothesized relationship between the variables. However, the parents of this study reflected higher levels of education than anticipated as 60% had completed various levels of college. Their occupations indicated a higher amount of professional and white collar workers than blue collar workers.

These parents supported the school's teaching of the family life topics by a definite majority. However, opposition was expressed by 17% of the sample to "human sexuality" being taught. Another 14% opposed teaching "about one's family." A significant finding of this study was the widespread uncertainty by the parents concerning what was being taught. For seven of the nine topics 40% to 60% of the sample was uncertain if it was being taught. Concern for the training and beliefs of those teaching the topics was expressed by 20% of the sample.

Further study in the area of the causes of the parental ambivalence concerning the teaching of family life education and the need to compare this study' s findings and the personal profile of these parents to other schools was indicated. The paradox between the parents' support of the school teaching family life education and the uncertainty as to what was actually being taught suggests a need for further study into the causes of this phenomena.


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