Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marketing (Business Administration)


The study focused on an assessment of the validity and reliability of self-report instruments used in contemporary family research. A multitrait-multimethod matrix was used to investigate the validity of the instruments. Cronbach's alpha was used to assess reliability based upon the internal consistency of the items. The questionnaire incorporated three "frames of reference" for each decision task item. Each spouse responded to the three frames of reference, thus six methods were used in the study. The three "frames of reference" included perceptions of joint activity by both spouses, each spouse's perception of himself, and each spouse's perceptions of his spouse. The traits used in the study consisted of two product decisions, three dimensions of the decision-making process and six subdecisions for each product decision. The product decisions surveyed included family automobiles and family room furniture. Importance, influence, and participation were the three dimensions that were included as components of the decision-making process. A convenience sample of 88 couples of middle class socioeconomic status took part in the study. Pearson's correlations were used to assess the convergent and divergent validity of the measurements of family decision making. From the results of the study it can be concluded that automobile and furniture decisions may be grouped into a financial and non-financial typology. It is also apparent that the dimensions of importance, influence, and participation of husbands and wives in decision making are relatively independent. Thus, importance and participation are two additional dimensions of decision making that should be examined. After assessing the reliability and validity of the measures it can be concluded that the measures were internally consistent and displayed evidence of convergent, discriminant, and construct validity. The primary limitation of the study was the use of a convenience sample of 88 middle income couples. Since the sample was not chosen randomly, the generalizability of the results of the study are limited.