Special Education ETDs


Janie Stone

Publication Date



Research concerning personality variables bas been expanding rapidly in the last few years. Locus of control is one of these variables; it is a developmental construct considered to be an important part of social learning theory. Locus of control refers to the degree to which a person believes that he controls his environment and reinforcements, or another person or force controls them. There have been many investigations regarding locus of control of normal and exceptional children in relation to motivation, anxiety, social desirability, success-failure attitudes, and achievement in the classroom. Specifically with students who are mentally retarded, orthopedically handicapped, or emotionally disturbed, there has recently been an interest in attempting to change external locus of control to more internal control. Little research has been done in relation to locus of control and children with learning disabilities. With increased diagnoses, there has been an increase in programs and interest in learning disabled children. The writer chose to study the effect of a self-contained (part of the day) class on locus of control orientation and reading achievement over a period of four months, for students with learning disabilities. Instruments used were the Locus of Control Q-Sort and the widely used Wide Range Achievement Test. The Q-Sort consists of twenty-five items adapted from two current locus of control scales. A nine-columned formboard was labeled along a continuum ranging from "Most Like Me" to "Most Not Like Me." Students placed each item, written on a card, in the column that best expressed the degree of similarity or dissimilarity for themselves. The Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed-Ranks Test showed no significant differences between the pre- and post-test scores of locus of control, but there was a significant difference in reading achievement scores, pre- and post-test (p <.05). The Spearman Rank Correlation Test showed no significant correlation between the amount of change in reading achievement with the amount of change in locus of control scores, or between the amount of change in reading achievement scores with the post-test scores of locus of control.

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Glenn Van Etten

Second Committee Member

Roger Lee Kroth

Third Committee Member

Henry James Pepe