Christine Dorsett, West Texas A&M University

Locus of Control Among Undergraduate Students at Hispanic Serving Institutions

Abstract: In psychology, locus of control refers to the degree that a person feels s/he is in control of their life choices versus outside forces.  Locus of control occurs on a continuum from high internal to high external locus of control. Those measuring higher in internal locus of control feel more in control of their choices, this is commonly found in individualistic cultures, whereas those measuring higher in external locus of control feel circumstances are due to chance, which is commonly found in collectivistic cultures. Exhibiting higher measures of internal locus of control has been positively correlated with academic success, higher satisfaction with life, lower levels of anxiety, positive social relationships, and enhanced financial responsibility.

Hispanic cultures tend to be more family centered and collectivistic in nature.  Therefore, it would be expected that scores would measure higher in external locus of control for Hispanics.  However, in a large, regional quantitative survey of students at Hispanic Serving Institutions, the Hispanic undergraduate population scored high for constructs associated with internal locus of control.  This is contrary to current literature regarding Hispanics and locus of control, suggesting a possible shift in cultural ideologies.

Presentation Author(s):
Christine Dorsett*

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