Effects of locus of control on self-concept among secondary schools learners in special schools in Central Province
The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of locus of control on the development of self-concept among learners with special needs and to determine those factors that were amenable to pedagogical changes. The population of the study consisted of secondary school learners with special needs in selected special schools in Central Province. The sample of the study was drawn from three secondary schools catering for the deaf, the blind and the physically handicapped. Purposive sampling was done whereby stratification according to disability type and gender were used to select 162 sample subjects, both males and females. These included all learners in the selected population. Three instruments were used to collect data; an Internal-External Locus of Control (I-E) Scale by Rotter (1966); a Self-concept Modified Semantic Differential (SDS) Scale from Olowu (1983) and a questionnaire to assess locus of control and self-concept in relation to school variables, such as academic achievement and aspirations. A pilot study was conducted in order to validate the research instruments as well as explore key useful pointers on administration of the test scales. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Specifically, correlation coefficients, West, multiple regression and chi-square were calculated in an effort to investigate relationships and association between and among the variables of interest. The major findings of this study were that on the overall, learners with special needs had internal locus of control and positive self-concept. Significant positive relationships existed between locus of control and self-concept among the visually impaired. Further relationships that were evidenced were between locus of control and academic achievement and self-concept and aspirations among deaf learners. The manner in which learners responded to the investigations was found to differ across the categories. Deaf learners indicated lower scores in all the areas of testing when compared to the other two categories. A wide variance was noticed across all the measurement scores suggesting that there were extreme cases among the subjects under study. Implications of these findings were presented as well as recommendations on both intervention measures that could be employed and further research.