Locus of control and academic efficacy in the thoughts of life and death of young Quebec university students.

Abstract

This study evaluated the role of control and efficacy expectations in the thoughts of life and death of 50 male and 50 female university students and investigated sex differences in this regard. It followed a correlational design and employed measures of tridimensional locus of control, expectations of academic efficacy, thoughts of life and death. A comparison of means revealed that male students did not differ from their female counterparts on any of the variables under study. Stepwise regression coefficients indicated that the two cognitive factors accounted more for thoughts of death than for thoughts of life; expectations of academic efficacy were the single variable that most explained variance. Regression equations by sex showed that thoughts of life were associated with internality and expectations of academic efficacy in females, and that thoughts of death were associated with expectations of academic inefficacy in males. The university counseling personnel should be especially sensitive to youths presenting with expectations of externality and of academic inefficacy. The latter variable seems to be particularly important, regardless of sex.

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