This study was designed to explore the differences between locus of control (LOC) in children from civilian and military families and to investigate whether military deployment is associated with an external locus of control more than other family dynamics. The literature has focused on the negative implications of external LOC for children’s mental health and achievement as well as in childhood chronic illness, parental absence, and parental alcoholism. However, prior research regarding this construct related to children of military families is significantly lacking. In the present study, LOC was measured by the Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale for Children, a 40 question scale designed for individuals within the range of 3rd to 12th grade. The 54 participants in this study ranged in age from 7 to 17 and came from either a military family with a deployed parent, a civilian family with two caregivers in the home, or a divorced - separated civilian family. A univariate one-way ANOVA was conducted on the data. It was found that children of deployed military families did not score significantly different for mean locus of control than civilian separated/divorced families, or civilian intact families. A correlation comparing age and LOC scores found no significant relationship. Limitations of this study included a small sample size due to time restrictions, and subsequently reduced statistical power. Future investigations into LOC should continue to explore its relationship with children in military families, as future studies correcting for sampling may obtain significant results. Further research should also probe more deeply into the negative and positive consequences that external and internal attributional tendencies may have for children’s development, academic performance, and overall well-being.
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Neer, Sandra M.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Kanefsky, Rebekah Z., "Perceived Locus of Control in the Children of Military and Civilian Families Affected by Deployment and Divorce" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1869.