Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Joanne C. Preston

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenneth A. Blick

Third Advisor

Dr. L. James Tromater


Local nontraditional funeral changes and the effect of cost on traditional and nontraditional funeral selection were investigated. The subjects for Experiment 1 included - 105 evening university students aged 30 to 49 years. The subjects were shown either an itemized price sheet or a funeral inventory sheet and then asked which funeral they preferred, traditional or nontraditional. Using the Chi Square 2 x 2 contingency analysis, X2(l,N=lOS) the value of 1.071 did not exceed the critical value at the .05 level of significance. Experiment 2 used 100 local death notices for each of the years 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, and 1985. Each notice was coded for nontraditional funerals and funerals without flowers. Significant differences in percentages were found indicating positive changes. Findings from Experiment 1 indicate that cost does not influence funeral selection. Findings from Experiment 2 indicate a change toward the increase of nontraditional funerals. Implications of these findings were discussed.

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