Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Locus of control; Motivation in education; Self-perception in children;


Many researchers agree that a student's level of self-esteem is important to success and self-esteem (Chapman & Boersma, 1980). If a student's level of self-esteem can be raised, this improvement may lead to improvement in other areas such as academic achievement (Shavelson & Bolus, 1982). In addition, teaching students to attribute success to themselves should improve self-esteem (Gurney, 1987). Consequently, teaching an internal locus of control to students could be a concern for the local school district (Stipek & Weisz, 1981). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship which exists between the constructs of locus of control and self-concept as a learner. A secondary purpose of this study was to determine if there was a gender difference in how students responded to the two constructs. The constructs were studied by administering a measure of locus of control and self-concept as a learner to twelfth graders in two rural Iowa school districts. Both scores yielded raw scores, which were transformed to normalized scores. In order to look at the relationship between scores obtained on both scales, correlation coefficients using the Pearson Product-moment Correlation Coefficient, Raw Score Formula were computed on the normalized scores. The results indicate a low correlation for total group (r = -.344), female (r = -.368), and males (r = -.340). The correlation coefficients were significantly different from zero-order correlations for males, females, and total group. However the difference between the correlations for males and females was not statistically significant. An analysis of the difference between the total group correlation for this study and the total group correlation for Randall's (1989) study was conducted. The difference between the two correlations was significant, z with p ≤.0118, with Randall's correlation being stronger (-.49). Thus, there appears to be an urban/rural difference which needs further exploration.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Donald W. Schmits


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Date Original


Object Description

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