Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 5–34 | Cite as

The Effects of Resources, Decision Making, and Decision Implementing on Perceived Family Well-Being in Adjusting to an Economic Stressor

  • Kathryn D. Rettig
  • Ronit D. Leichtentritt
  • Sharon M. Danes


This article examines the relationships of personal resources, decision-making, and decision-implementing behaviors that were measured in time one with perceived family well-being that was measured one year later. The sample included 323 farm men and women who had experienced the same economic stressor event. A structural equation model was posited based upon the theoretical frameworks of family resource management. The results indicated the theoretical model fit the data well for both men and women. LISREL analyses revealed strong positive relationships among perceived financial and emotional resources, decision making, and perceived family well-being. A positive relationship was found between decision making and decision implementing, but no relationship was found between decision implementing and perceived family well-being. Gender differences were present only in the measurement model among the indicators of decision implementing and family well-being.

resources decision making family well-being economic stressor farm households 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andrews, F. M., & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social indicators of well-being: America's perceptions of life quality. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  2. Angell, R. C. (1936). The family encounters depression. New York: Charles Scribner and Sons.Google Scholar
  3. Barnett, R. C., Biener, L., & Baruch, G. K. (1987). Gender and stress. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bartlett, P. F. (1993). American dreams, rural realities: Family farms in crisis. Chapel Hill: North Carolina University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bentler, P. M. (1980). Multivariate analysis with latent variables: Causal modeling. Annual Review of Psychology, 31, 419-456.Google Scholar
  6. Bentler, P. M., & Bonett, D. G. (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin, 88(3), 588-606.Google Scholar
  7. Bonanno, A. (1987). Small farms: Persistence with legitimization. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  8. Boss, P. (1988). Family stress management. Newbury Parks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  9. Bowen, G. L. (1998). Effects of leader support in the work unit on the relationship between work spillover and family adaptation. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 19(1), 25-52.Google Scholar
  10. Bubolz, M. M., & Sontag, M. S. (1993). Human ecology theory. In P. G. Boss, W. J. Doherty, R. LaRossa, W. R. Schumm, & S. K. Steinmetz (Eds.), Sourcebook of family theories and methods: A contextual approach. (pp. 419-448). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  11. Caplovitz, D. (1981). Making ends meet: How families cope with inflation and recession. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 456, 88-98.Google Scholar
  12. Caplovitz, D. (1979). Making ends meet: How families cope with inflation and recession. Berverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  13. Cavan, R. S., & Ranck, K. H. (1938). The family and depression: A study of 100 Chicago families. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. Conger, R. D., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (1994). Families in troubled times: Adapting to change in rural America. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  15. Conger, R. D., Elder, G. H., Jr., Lorenz, F. O., Conger, K. J., Simons, R. L., Whitbeck, L. B., Huck, S., & Melby, J. N. (1990). Linking economic hardship to marital quality and instability. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52, 643-656.Google Scholar
  16. Conger, R. D., Ge, X., Elder, G. H., Jr., Lorenz, F. O., & Simons, R. L. (1994). Economic stress, coercive family process, and developmental problems of adolescents. Child Development, 65, 541-561.Google Scholar
  17. Danes, S. M. (1997). Farm family businesses: Summary of research. University of Minnesota: Minnesota Extension Service Publication.Google Scholar
  18. Danes, S. M. (1996). Minnesota farm women: 1988 to 1995. University of Minnesota: Minnesota Extension Service Publication.Google Scholar
  19. Danes, S. M., & Keshinen, S. M. (1990). The extent of off-farm employment and its impact of farm women. Human Services in the Rural Environment, 11(1), 10-14.Google Scholar
  20. Danes, S. M., & Rettig, K. D. (1995). Economic adjustment strategies of farm men and women experiencing economic stress. Financial Counseling and Planning 6, 59-74.Google Scholar
  21. Danes, S. M., & Rettig, K. D. (1993). The role of perception in the intention to change the family financial situation. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 14(4), 365-389.Google Scholar
  22. Deacon, R. E., & Firebaugh, F. M. (1988). Family resource management: Principles and applications. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  23. Dollahite, D. C. (1991). Family resource management and family stress theories: Toward a conceptual integration. Lifestyles: Family and Economic Issues, 14(4), 361-377.Google Scholar
  24. Duncan, S. F., Volk, R. J., & Lewis, R. A. (1988). The influence of financial stressors upon farm husbands and wives well-being and family life satisfaction. In R. Marotz-Baden, C. B. Hennon, & T. Brubaker (Eds.), Families in rural America: Stress, adaptation, and revitalization. St. Paul, MN: National Council on Family Relations.Google Scholar
  25. Elder, G. H., Jr. (1974). Children of the Great Depression: Social change in life experience. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  26. Elder, G. H., Jr., & Caspi, A. (1988). Economic stress in lives: Developmental perspectives. Journal of Social Issues, 44(4), 25-45.Google Scholar
  27. Elder, G. H., Jr., Conger, R. D., Foster, E. M., & Ardelt, M. (1992). Failies under economic pressure. Journal of Family Issues, 13(1), 5-37.Google Scholar
  28. Foa, U. G., & Foa, E. B. (1974). Societal structures of the mind. Springfield, IL: Charles Thomas.Google Scholar
  29. Folkman, S., Lazarus, R. S., Dunkel-Schetter, C., DeLongis, A., & Gruen, R. J. (1986). Dynamics of a stressful encounter: Cognitive appraisal, coping, and encounter outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 992-1003.Google Scholar
  30. Fox, G. L., & Chancey, D. (1998). Sources of economic distress: Individual and family outcomes. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 19(6), 725-749.Google Scholar
  31. Godwin, D. D., Draughn, P. S., Little, L. F., & Marlowe, J. (1991). Wives off-farm employment, farm family economic status, and family relationships. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53, 389-402.Google Scholar
  32. Hansen, D. A., & Johnson, V. A. (1979). Rethinking family stress theory: Definitional aspects. In W.R. Burr, R. Hill, F. I. Nye, & I. L. Reiss (Eds.), Contemporary theories about the family: Research-based theories, Vol I. (pp. 582-603). New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  33. Haslam, N. (1995). Factor structure of social relationships: An examination of relational models and resource exchange theories. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21(2), 217-227.Google Scholar
  34. Haslam, N., & Fiske, A. P. (1992). Implicit relationship prototypes: Investigating five theories of elementary cognitive forms of social relationship. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 28, 441-474.Google Scholar
  35. Hilton, J. M., Martin, S. K., & Haldeman, V. A. (1994). Using psychometric analyses to evaluate the construct validity and reliability of the coping response indices. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 15(3), 201-222.Google Scholar
  36. Holahan, C. J., & Moos, R. H. (1987). Personal and contextual determinants of coping strategies. Journal of Personal and Social Psychology, 52(5), 946-955.Google Scholar
  37. Hyun, E. M., Bauer, J. W., & Hogan, M. J. (1993). Resource adequacy perception and marital dissatisfaction of rural wives and husbands: A nonrecursive model. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 14(3), 215-236.Google Scholar
  38. Iversen, L., & Sabroc, S. (1988). Psychological well-being among unemployed and employed people after a company closedown: A longitudinal study. Journal of Social Issues, 44, 141-152.Google Scholar
  39. Jaccard, J., & Wan, C. K. (1996). LISREL approaches to interaction effects in multiple regression. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  40. Jöreskog, K. G. (1971). Statistical analysis of sets of congeneric tests. Psychometrika, 36(2), 109-133.Google Scholar
  41. Jöreskog, K. G., & Sorbom, D. (1993). LISREL 8: Structural equation modeling with the SIMPLIS command language. Chicago, IL: Scientific Software International Inc.Google Scholar
  42. Kaplan, H. B. (1996). Perspectives on psychosocial stress. In H. B. Kaplan (Ed.), Psychosocial stress: Perspectives on structure, theory, life course, and methods (pp. 3-28). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  43. Kinnunen, U., & Pulkkinen, L. (1998). Linking economic stress to marital quality among Finnish marital couples. Journal of Family Issues, 19(6), 705-724.Google Scholar
  44. Lavee, Y. (1988). Linear structural relationships (LISREL) in family research. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50, 937-948.Google Scholar
  45. Lavee, Y., McCubbin, H. I., & Olson, D. H. (1987). The effect of stressful life events and transitions on family functioning and well-being. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 9, 857-873.Google Scholar
  46. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Coping and adaptation. In W. D. Gentry (Ed.), Handbook of behavioral medicine (pp. 282-318). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  47. Liker, J. K., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (1983). Economic hardship and marital relations in the 1930's. American Sociological Review, 48, 343-359.Google Scholar
  48. Lobao, L., & Meyer, K. (1995a). Restructuring the rural farm economy: Midwestern women's and men's work roles during the farm crisis period. Economic Development Quarterly, 9(1), 60-73.Google Scholar
  49. Lobao, L., & Meyer, K. (1995b). Economic decline, gender, and labor flexibility in family-based enterprises: Midwestern farming in the 1980's. Social Forces, 74.(2), 575-608.Google Scholar
  50. Lobao, L. M., & Meyer, K. (1991). Consumption patterns, hardship, and stress among farm households. Research in Rural Sociology and Development, 5, 191-209.Google Scholar
  51. Lomax, R. G. (1983). A guide to multiple-sample structural equation modeling. Behavior Research Methods and Instrumentation, 15(6), 580-584.Google Scholar
  52. Mare, R. D., & Ma, W. M. (1981). Children's reports of parental socioeconomic status: A multiple group measurement model. In G. W. Bohrnstedt & E. F. Borgatta (Eds.), Social measurement: Current issues (pp. 187-208). CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  53. McCubbin, H., & Patterson, J. (1983). The family stress process: The double ABCX model of adjustment and adaptation. In H. McCubbin, M. B. Sussman, & J. M. Patterson (Eds.), Social stress and the family: Advances and developments in family stress theory and research (pp. 7-37). New York: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  54. Meyer, K., & Lobao, L. (1997). Farm couples and crisis politics: The importance of household, spouse, and gender in responding to economic decline. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 59, 204-218.Google Scholar
  55. Moen, P., & Wethington, E. (1992). The concept of family adaptive strategies. Annual Review of Sociology, 18, 233-251.Google Scholar
  56. Moos, R. H., & Schaefer, J. A. (1993). Coping resources and processes: Current concepts and measures. In L. Goldberger & S. Breznitz (Eds.), Handbook of stress: Theoretical and clinical aspects (p. 234-257). Second edition. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  57. Nowak, T. C., & Snyder, K. A. (1986). Sex differences in the long-term consequences of job loss. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. New York.Google Scholar
  58. Paolucci, B., Hall, O. A., & Axinn, N. W. (1979). Family decision making: An ecosystem approach. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  59. Perruci, C. C., & Targ, D. B. (1988). Effects of a plant closing on marriage and family life. In P. Voydanoff & L. C. Majka (Eds.), Families and economic distress (pp. 55-74). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  60. Poole, D. L. (1981). Family farms and the effects of farm expansion on the quality of marital and family life. Human Organization, 40(4), 344-349.Google Scholar
  61. Ptacek, J. T., Smith, R. E., & Dodge, K. (1994). Gender differences in coping with stress: When stressors and appraisals do not differ. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 621-630.Google Scholar
  62. Rettig, K. D. (1993). Problem-solving and decision-making as central processes of family life: An ecological framework for family relations and family resource management. Marriage and Family Review, 18, 187-222.Google Scholar
  63. Rettig, K. D., Bauer, J. W., & Danes, S. M. (1990). Adjustments of farm families to economic stress. (Minnesota Report 229-1990, AD-MR-3994). St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.Google Scholar
  64. Rettig, K. D., & Bubolz, M. M. (1983). Perceptual indicators of family well-being. Social Indicators Research, 12(4), 417-438.Google Scholar
  65. Rettig, K. D., Danes, S. M., & Bauer, J. W. (1993). Gender differences in perceived family life quality among economically stress farm families. In U. G. Foa, J. M. Converse, Jr., & E. B. Foa (Eds.), Resource theory: Explorations and applications (pp. 123-155). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  66. Rettig, K. D., Danes, S. M., & Bauer, J. W. (1991). Family life quality: theory and assessment in economically stressed farm families. Social Indicators Research, 24, 269-299.Google Scholar
  67. Rettig, K. D., Danes, S. M., & Leichtentritt, R. D. (1997). Affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses to economic stress. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 26, 3-28.Google Scholar
  68. Rettig, K. D., & Leichtentritt, R. D. (in press). A general theory for perceptual indicators of family life quality. Social Indicators Research.Google Scholar
  69. Rettig, K. D., Rossmann, M. M., & Hogan, M. J. (1993). Educating for family resource management. In M. Arcus, J. D. Schvaneveldt, & J. J. Moss. (Eds.), Handbook of family life education, Vol. II (pp. 115-154). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  70. Rosenblatt, P. C. & Keller, L. O. (1983). Economic vulnerability and economic stress in farm couples. Family Relations, 32, 567-573.Google Scholar
  71. Sharlin, S. A. (1996). Long-term successful marriage in Israel. Contemporary Family Therapy, 18(2), 225-242.Google Scholar
  72. Silbereisen, R. K., Walper, S., & Albrecht, H. T. (1990). Family income loss and economic hardship: Antecedents of adolescents' problem behavior. New Directions in Child Development, 46, 27-47.Google Scholar
  73. Stam, J. M., Koenig, S. R., Bentley, S., & Gale, H. F. (1991). Farm financial stress, farm exists, and public sector assistance to the farm sector in the 1980's. (Agricultural Economic Report No. 645). Washington, D.C: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.Google Scholar
  74. Tallman, I. (1993). Theoretical issues in researching problem solving in families. In B. H. Settles, R. S. Hanks, & M. B. Sussman (Eds.), American families and the future: Analyses of possible destinies (pp. 155-186). New York: Haworth.Google Scholar
  75. Taylor, S. E., & Aspinwall, L. G. (1996). Mediating and moderating processes in psychosocial stress: Appraisal, coping, resistance, and vulnerability. In H. B. Kaplan (Ed.), Psychosocial stress: Perspectives on structure, theory, life-course, and methods (pp. 71-99). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  76. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. (1985). Farm population of the United States, 1984, (Current Population Reports, Farm Population, Series P-27, No 59). Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  77. Van Hook, M. P. (1990). The Iowa farm crisis: Perceptions, interpretations, and family patterns. New Directions in Child Development, 46, 71-86.Google Scholar
  78. Voydanoff, P. (1990). Economic distress and family relations: A review of the eighties. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52, 1099-1115.Google Scholar
  79. Voydanoff, P., & Donnelly, B. W. (1988). Economic distress, family coping, and quality of family life. In P. Voydanoff & L. C. Majka (Eds.), Families and economic distress: Coping strategies and social policies (pp. 144-156). New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  80. Warheit, G. J. (1979). Life events, coping, stress, and depressive symptomology. American Journal of Psychiatry, 136, 502-507.Google Scholar
  81. Weigel, R. R. (1988). Coping with economic stress: Implications for helping professionals. Lifestyles: Family and Economic Issues, 9(4), 367-382.Google Scholar
  82. Weigel, D. J., & Weigel, R. R. (1990). Family satisfaction in two-generation farm families: The role of stress and resources. Family Relations, 39, 449-455.Google Scholar
  83. Whitbeck, L. B., Simons, R. L., Conger, R. D., Lorenz, F. O, Huck, S., & Elder, G. H., Jr. (1991). Family economic hardship, parental support, and adolescent self-esteem. Social Psychology Quarterly, 54(4), 353-363.Google Scholar
  84. Wilhelm, M. S., & Ridley, C. A. (1988a). Unemployment induced adaptations, relationships among economic responses and individual marital well-being. Lifestyles: Family and Economic Issues, 9(1), 5-20.Google Scholar
  85. Wilhelm, M. S., & Ridley, C. A. (1988b). Stress and unemployment in rural nonfarm couples: A study of hardships and coping resources. Family Relations, 37, 50-54.Google Scholar
  86. Wilkening, E. A. (1958). Joint decision-making in farm families as a function of status and role. American Sociological Review, 23(2), 187-192.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn D. Rettig
    • 1
  • Ronit D. Leichtentritt
    • 2
  • Sharon M. Danes
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Minnesota Twin CitiesUSA
  2. 2.Tel Aviv UniversityIsrael
  3. 3.University of Minnesota Twin CitiesUSA

Personalised recommendations