Spending decision responsibilities of husbands and wives

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this study was to determine whether a relationship exists between who makes major and everyday spending decisions and the variables: average age of couple, length of marriage, and the wife's contribution to the income. Previous studies have provided divergent opinions as to who makes family spending decisions.

A questionnaire was developed especially for this study. Respondents in the study were the wives in 91 Blacksburg,Virginia, families in which husband and/or wife were employed.

It was hypothesized that no relationships exist for major housing, transportation, and food decisions between the decision-maker and average age of couple, the decision-maker and length of marriage, and the decision-maker and the wife's contribution to the income. Hypothesis I could be partially rejected since the decision-maker for major transportation decisions was significantly related to average age of couple and length of marriage. In younger couples and those who had been married a short time, both husband and wife made the major transportation decisions while the husband had more responsibility in making major transportation decisions among couples who were older and had been married longer. Regardless of age, length of marriage, or the wife's contribution to the income, the majority of major housing and food decisions were made jointly by husband and wife.

decision making