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The effects of social role attitudes on the planning behavior of First Nations mothers Atleo, Marlene R.


A common perception by non-natives is that First Nations people do not plan. Conversely, this study takes the position that planning is a universal human ability embedded in social relations and investigates how First Nations families plan. The pattern of planning and social role expectations of the First Nations mother were investigated in the Family Resource Management Framework (Deacon & Firebaugh, 1989) for which the authors claim cross cultural utility. Using the framework, the "Maternal Social Role Attitude and Planning Model", was developed to guide the study in a bicultural context. Guided by this model, the relationships between the personal value of and commitment to (salience) social expectations of First Nations mothers in four life roles, the sociodemographic attributes of mothers and families, and their planning behaviors were explored. Forty First Nations mothers with school aged children responded to the survey through First Nations organizations and affiliations. The three-part questionnaire included demographic measures, the Planning Behavior Scale and the Life Role Salience Scale. Scale management, validation, and performance with this population were discussed. Three dimensions of planning were identified (morphostatic planning, morphogenic planning, and adherence to rules). Social role attitudes in order of salience were: parental role, home care role, occupational role, and marital role. Salience of occupational role attitudes and income were the most important predictors of planning generally. Lower levels of educational status specifically predicted planning by adherence to rules. A multiple regression test of the model revealed characteristics of the family and maternal systems and maternal social role attitudes that contributed significantly to explaining three dimensions of planning behavior in First Nations families. Adherence to rules and morphostatic planning were explained by the maternal social attitude, occupational role salience, and income. Morphogenic planning was explained by, income, living in a smaller community, and the maternal social attitude, occupational role salience. The maternal social role attitude, occupational role salience, was shown to make an important positive contribution to the planning of First Nations mothers. The performance of the model as an analytical tool has provided some knowledge about the planning behavior of First Nations mothers.

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