Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

John Boulmetis


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of both field of study and gender on locus of control orientation among graduate students at the University of Rhode Island at Kingston.

This study solicited participation from graduate students enrolled at the University of Rhode Island, spring semester, 1990 excluding those enrolled in the Graduate School of Oceanography, School of Business and in courses offered by the Director of the College of Continuing Education (CCE) Special Programs Division were excluded from the study. A total of 804 graduate students returned the two surveys which were used to gather data. Data on locus of control orientation was measured by the Reid-Ware Locus of Control Scale. Personal data concerning gender and field of study was gathered on a separate survey. Graduate students were divided into six academic disciplines based upon indicated field of study (Math and Sciences, Human Sciences, Fine Arts, Business, Health, and Natural Resources). Graduate students were compared on total and three subscale scores- Fatalism, Self Control, and Social Systems Control- of the locus of control construct.

It was concluded that significant differences exist between genders only on the Self Control subscale; no significant differences were found on Fatalism, Social Systems Control or on the total score. Significant differences were not found on the locus of control construct between academic disciplines. Additional findings indicate that the older students were significantly different on the Social Systems Control subscale than younger students. Also, foreign students were significantly different than the indigenous students on the total score and two subscales (Fatalism and Social Systems Control).



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