Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Author's Department

Educational Psychology and Guidance

First Advisor

Paul D. Overton


Purpose of the Study:

The primary purpose of this study was to investigate whether relationships could be found between certain characteristics of one's self-concept and locus of control. This paper is a report of that study.

Method of Study:

Data contained in this study were gathered by utilizing the Tennessee Self Concept Scale and the Rotter's I-E (Internal-External) Scale. A total of one hundred 1980 Rantoul High School psychology and physics students were administered the above standardized tests. The sex factor was included to see if there were any noticeable characteristics among students with relationship to their test scores.

The Rotter's (1966) Locus of Control (I-E) Scale consists of a twenty-nine item forced-choice questionnaire with six filler items to make the test's purpose somewhat more ambiguous. The items deal specifically with the subjects' perceptions about the nature of the world and their control over life's events. The test was scored in the external direction with the score indicating the number of external choices.

Fitt's (1965) Tennessee Self Concept Scale is an objective Likert-type instrument measuring three internal and five external dimensions of self-concept. These two areas are denoted as the ''internal" and "external" reference points. An internal frame of reference indicates how a person describes himself, as opposed to an external reference point indicating how the person uses external sources to describe himself. The internal reference point is divided into three areas: identity, self satisfaction, and behavior. The external point of view is divided into five areas including physical self, moral-ethical self, personal self, family self, and social self. The "P" scale indicates an overall level of self-esteem. Fitts has described the test as a well-standardized, multidimensional scale that measures self-concept. The scale has been shown to have high internal consistency, test reliability, and construct validity.


This study was an examination of the relationship between the Internal-External (Locus of Control) Scale and the P + N scale of the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale, indicating a positive or negative self concept. This study utilized high school Physics and Psychology students. From this study, the following conclusions were drawn:

  1. There were 60 (60.0%) males and 40 (40.0%) females, for a total of 100 students. A t-test for two independent samples was used to test differences between male and female subjects. For the I-E scale, t (98) = -0.455 with p = 0.6499. For the TSCS, t (98) = -0.292 with p = 0.7708. There was no significant difference between scores made by males and females on the I-E scale and the TSCS.
  2. Of these groups, 74 (74.0%) were 18 years old, and 26 (26.0%) were 17 years old during testing. Thus it was concluded that the average subject age was 18.
  3. Data obtained from the I-E scale indicated that males tended to be more internal than females. The two groups obtained means above their national norms. Both groups' scores within their TSCS norms. Females on the whole, tended to obtain higher average self-concept scores than the males on the TSCS.
  4. When the scores were combined, scores made on the I-E scale were negatively correlated with scores obtained on the TSCS, thus high scores on the I-E scale tended to indicate lower scores on the TSCS; while low scores on the I-E scale were correlated with higher scores on the TSCS.
  5. Given an I-E scale score, within the boundaries of this study, one can validly predict scores on the TSCS.


The following recommendations are stated as guides for further study relative to the characteristics of the relationship between locus of control and self-concept:

  1. It is recommended that a study be undertaken to investigate exactly how. people become internally and externally motivated.
  2. It is recommended that a study be undertaken to investigate the problems encountered in maintaining a positive self-concept and what things contribute to a positive versus a negative self-concept.
  3. It is recommended that further study be done in the areas comparing locus of control with self-concept.
  4. It is recommended that further study be done to determine why females tend to have a more external orientation when compared to males.
  5. It is recommended that further study be done to determine what effects on internal locus of control and a positive self-concept have on adaptation to society.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.