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Predictors of the wife's involvement in farm decision making Sawer, Barbara Jean


This study investigates the farm wife's role in decision- making related directly to the farm business. Specifically examined are predictor variables hypothesized to be associated with the extent of the wife's involvement in decisions concerning the general management of the farm enterprise and decisions leading to the adoption of agricultural innovations• The respondents were sixty-seven wives of commercial strawberry growers living in British Columbia's Fraser Valley. Data were collected in personal interviews and analyzed using Pearson product-moment correlation, one-way analyses of variance followed by Duncan's New Multiple Range Tests, and factor analysis by the principal component method. Focusing on directional hypotheses derived from the literature, the analysis yielded the following findings with parallel patterns of relationships emerging for involvement in both types of decisions studied! 1. Wives who seek information about farm matters are also likely to participate in decisions about those matters, although contact with the Agricultural Extension Service, considered as a specific type of information-seeking activity, does not appear to be associated with decision-making involvement. 2. Wives who participate in farm tasks also tend to participate in farm decisions. 3. Income and farm size are negatively associated with the wife's involvement in farm decisions, although other indicators of socioeconomic status such as age, education, and social participation do not appear to affect her participation. k. The number of children in the family is negatively related to the wife's participation in farm decision-making. 5. The husband's acceptance of agricultural innovations is not associated with his wife's involvement in decisions about those innovations or about farm matters in general. Three independent factors—labeled Wife's Business Partner Role. Age, and Socioeconomic Status—were reflected in the interrelationships among all variables. Defining the Wife's Business Partner Role were positively intercorrelated variables relating to the wife's involvement in general farm decision-making, adoption decision-making, information-seeking, and farm tasks. Interpretation of the findings focuses on behaviors associated with the extent of the wife's decision-making activity, and how resources such as money, time, energy, and skills may affect her emphasis on a business partner role. Implications for educational program planning are discussed by considering existing family decision-making patterns as frameworks for the diffusion of agricultural information.

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