Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Learning, Psychology of; Locus of control; Self-perception--Testing;


Before locus of control (LOC) and self-concept as a learner can be separately used in personality measurement, their construct independence must be established. Randall (1989) and Schmidt (1990) found moderate (.-49 and -.25) overlap between the Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale for Children (NSLOC) (Nowicki & Strickland, 1973) and Waetjen's (1967) Self-Concept As a Learner Scale (SCAL). Since Randall and Schmidts' data came from differently sized school districts, the exploration of district size as a variable seemed warranted.

Interest in LOC and self-concept has been studied extensively since Rotter's (1966) comprehensive review. Joe (1971) did a comprehensive review. Strickland (1972) found it may be important to move children toward a more internal LOC; Findley and Cooper (1983) found that high internal LOC was associated with greater academic achievement; Marsh, Parker, and Smith (1983) hypothesized that improvement in self-concept may enhance improvements in other areas; Baldauf, Edwards, and Bronwyn (1985) contend that scales loaded with school-related items should provide more substantial data for learner image than would more general self-concept scales; and Liddle, Rockwell, and Scatad (1987) found that the SCAL was valid for identifying students whose teacher's rated them as having a high or low self-concept.

The question arises whether a more global measure of LOC would relate better to SCAL than a school item loaded LOC. For this study, the NSLOC was chosen as the global LOC scale and the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility Questionnaire (IAR) (cited in Crandall, Katkovsky, & Crandall, 1965) was chosen as the school specific one. The item specificity would predict a higher correlation between SCAL and IAR than between NSLOC and SCAL.

The second question raised by the study was whether school district size was a significant variable in the correlations. The study chose eleventh grade students from one large and one small school district to provide data for this question.

It was found that school district size was not a significant variable. It was further found that the relationship between the more global LOC measure and the SCAL scale was higher than the more school loaded scale (IAR) and the SCAL. The correlations support an inference that self-concept as a learner and locus of control have construct independence.

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


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