An Investigation of Locus of Control in Dene and Non-Dene Students
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The purpose of this investigation was to explore the dimension of locus of control as it relates to age, grade, sex and ethnicity (Dene, non-Dene). The instrument used was the Nowicki-Strickland Scale of Internal-External Locus of Control (1973). Subjects were 370 grade three to nine Dene and non-Dene students from a small Northern Canadian community. Along with other school administered tests, all subjects were given the Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale for Children in June of 1982. The data were analyzed using analyses of variance and Scheffe tests. Hierarchical and stepwise regression analyses were used to predict locus of control scores from age, sex, grade and ethnicity. As well, hierarchical and stepwise regression analyses were used to predict achievement scores from age, sex, locus of control and ethnicity. It was found that both Dene and non-Dene students move from external to internal locus of control over age and grade; however, the Dene group's scores were significantly more external over both age and grade than the non-Dene group's scores. Thus age, grade and ethnicity are significant variables in the prediction of locus of control, with age and ethnicity accounting for 20% of the variance. In the case of achievement, the combination of age, ethnicity and grade four plus ethnicity accounted for 53% of the variance. The results of the present investigation confirm reported findings that internality is developmental over age and grade. The greater externality of the Dene students underscores the need for teachers to be knowledgeable, aware and sensitive to the needs of the learner so that the appropriate instructional and reinforcement strategies may be employed.