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A cross-cultural study of personal space in the family

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Title:A cross-cultural study of personal space in the family
Authors:Cade, Theo
Keywords:Personal space
Personality and culture
Date Issued:1972
Abstract:Two experiments were carried out to obtain baseline data of family figure placements for a feasibility test and subsequent development of an instrument to measure territoriality (personal space) in family relationships. Initially an adaptation of Kuethe's (1962a) figure placement technique was used in a group placement condition including six nuclear family relationships, husband-wife (H-W), father-son (F-S), father-daughter (F-D), mother-son (M-S), mother-daughter (M-D), and brother-sister (B-S). Samples drawn from Hawaiian Orientals (N=48) and Hawaiian Caucasians (N=24) were compared using analysis of variance with two between (sex and subculture) and one within (family relationship) factor. Data pertaining to patterns were analyzed with chi-square analyses. For the interfigure distance results in the first study, family relationship and subculture were signified at the .001 and .05 levels respectively, while sex and all interaction effects were not significant. Within the family relationship distances, the peer relationships of husband-wife and brother-sister were not significantly different, while the same held for mother-son versus mother-daughter distances and the father-son and father-daughter distances. The parent and child peer distances were less than the mother-child distances which were less than the father-child distances. The difference between the parent and child distances were similar in magnitude to the mother-child versus father-child difference. Four distinct pattern effects were found for the total group, overall horizontal and vertical pattern (x^2=.001), parents highest (x^2=.001) father furthest left (x^2=.001) and daughter furthest right (x^2=.01) with the same pattern trends holding up within the subculture groups. A second study was made to provide data on pair as well as group placement, the use of circle symbols rather than silhouettes, and samples from different cultures, American (N=21), Filipino (N=18) and Japanese (N=26) Ss were presented with the placement task and results were analyzed as in the first study, using analysis of variance with two between and one within factor for the interfigure distance for both group and pair conditions; the group data were analyzed for pattern effects with chi-square analyses also as in the first study. There were no significant effects found in the pair condition analysis of variance for interfigure distances, while family relationship was significant in the group condition beyond the .001 level. A breakdown of the family relationship variance replicated the results of the first study with the husband-wife equal to the brother-sister, together less than mother-son and mother-daughter equal to each other and less than father-son and father-daughter. The father-daughter distance here was substantially greater than the father-son difference. Again as in the first study, the parent and child peer versus the mother-chi ld difference was equal to the mother-child versus father-child difference. The pattern analyses for the total group of overall horizontal and vertical patterns, parents highest, father left-most, and daughter right-most all were significant beyond the .01 level, and the same trends were found within the three culture groups. The interfigure distance and pattern results in a family group context warrant the conclusion that the development of a clinical instrument of territorial family relationships is plausible and provide a baseline for the construction of such an instrument.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1972.
Bibliography: leaves 121-124.
x, 124 l illus., tables
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Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Educational Psychology

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