Understanding Student Attitudes About Majoring in Human Development and Family Science

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Most prospective students are unfamiliar with Human Development and Family Science (HDFS), which makes building program enrollment among incoming students challenging. This study used the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991) to conduct a two stage empirical analysis of attitudes associated with majoring in HDFS. HDFS students demonstrated many significantly different attitudes toward majoring in the field than did non HDFS students. They possessed more positive attitudes toward the discipline's treatment of human sexuality, its development of interpersonal communication skills, and its potential for strengthening families. These findings may prove beneficial to HDFS departments that want to improve perceptions of the field and build enrollment. Several strategies for program development and communication enhancement are presented.


Hagenbuch, D., & Hamon, R. (2011). Understanding student attitudes toward majoring in human development and family science. Family Science Review, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.26536/FSR.2011.16.01.01