Locus of control and schizophrenic adjustment : a dimensional analysis.

by Howard A. Beck

Institution: University of KwaZulu-Natal
Department: Psychology
Degree: MS
Year: 1980
Keywords: Psychology.
Record ID: 1511372
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10413/6144


The literature indicates that: (i) locus of control is a multi-factorial construct; and (ii) psychological maladjustment is associated with a generalised perception that reinforcements are not personally controlled. Little is known regarding the importance of the identified factors to psychopathology. The relationship between locus of control and adjustment is empirically well established but void of theoretical basis. The present study proposes a bridge between locus of control and Seligman's theory of learned helplessness . Forty hospitalised psychiatric patients (diagnosed schizophrenic) and forty persons chosen randomly from a voter's roll ("normals") were administered tests of locus of control; namely, the Internal-External scale (Rotter, 1966). The Internal,Powerful Others and Chance Scale (Levenson, 1972) and the Interpersonal Trust Scale (Rotter, 1967). The Psychotic Reaction Profile (Lorr, O'Connor and Stafford, 1960), a behavioural questionnaire, was completed for each patient. The results suggest that a multidimensional analysis does not add substantially to an understanding of the relationship between locus of control and psychological adjustment. It is however arguable that the study casts doubt on the utility of existing measures rather than the dimensions as such. Support was provided for the hypothesis linking locus of control to behavioural symptoms of learned helplessness.