Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Major Professor

Waynne B. James, Ed.D.

Committee Member

William Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey D. Kromrey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William H. Young, Ed.D.


social role research, adult development, Havighurst, adult education, family life cycle


The purpose of this study was to develop and content validate a Performance Rating Scale and Interview Protocol, enabling study of the social role performance of adult daughters and sons as they fulfill the societal norms and expectations of adult children. This exploratory investigation was one of 13 contemporary adult social roles completed by the University of South Florida Social Roles Research Group to update research of Havighurst in the 1950s.

The Daughter/Son Performance Rating Scale and Interview Protocol were created through a series of panel reviews and suggestions by experts drawn from adult education, human development, gerontology, and educational measurement and research. A review of the literature identified the initial performance descriptors; ultimately, four strands were identified for inclusion in the study: Involvement, Perception/Attitude, Activities, and Role Improvement. Questions were developed and reviewed by experts again for their relevance to the performance being measured and their clarity; this created the basis for the Interview Protocol.

The resulting instruments were administered to a quota sample of 150 respondents qualified for inclusion by age, gender, socioeconomic status, and racial/ethnicity characteristics. The results were placed in the cells of a 5x3x2 grid reflecting five socioeconomic levels, three age groups, and two genders, with inclusion of minority race/ethnicity participants added throughout the cells.

Main effects for each of the primary variables were tested, with only gender showing significance, with daughters performing at a higher level than sons. Other demographic characteristics of respondents and their parents were studied for association with role performance. Distance between the Daughter/Son and the parent with whom she/he is most involved and the Daughter/Son's involvement in parents' decision-making were significant. The closer the proximity, the higher the performance rating; the greater the involvement in the parent's decision-making, the higher the performance rating.

Recommendations for further study include a larger population sample study covering a wider geographic range than this study, additional study of demographic characteristics that influence adult Daughter/Son role performance, study of minority differences, and study of the role performance for the younger age level.