Effect of Locus of Control and Gender on Stress Level of Late Adolescents
Abstract An attempt was made to examine the effect of locus of control and gender on perceived stress level of 200 late adolescents (100 males and 100 females) in the age range of 17 to 19 years, selected from different areas of Cuttack city, Odisha, India. Based on the demographic information and responses of 442 adolescents (240 males and 202 females) on Julian Rotter's locus of control scale, a median split was used to select 200 participants with extreme (low and high) locus of control scores, who were then administered the Sheldon Cohen's Perceived Stress Scale. Obtained scores were analyzed with a 2 (Locus of Control: Internals versus Externals) x 2 (Gender: Males versus Females) between-subjects ANOVA. The main effect of locus of control yielded an F (1, 196) = 215.83, p < .001, indicating that the mean stress score was significantly higher for externals (M = 26.01, SD = 2.88) than internals (M = 18.74, SD = 4.01). The main effect of gender yielded an F (1, 196) = 1.32, p > .05, indicating that there was no significant difference between the mean stress scores of males (M = 22.09, SD = 4.64) and females (M = 22.66, SD = 5.42). The interaction effect (Gender x Locus of Control) was not significant, F (1, 196) = .18, p > .05. Irrespective of gender, external adolescents reported higher perceived stress than their internal counterparts. The study suggests that for adolescents to perceive less stress, they need to strike the right balance between the two states of their locus of control: internal and external. The implication is that college-going adolescents be counseled and trained in effective coping strategies to deal with stress. Keywords: Externals, gender, internals, late adolescents, locus of control, perceived stress, stress
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