Eyo, Isidore Ekpenyong (1976)
A study and measurement of the attribution of social causality by delinquents and non-delinquents.
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This study was an investigation of the attribution of social causality by delinquents and non-delinquents. For this purpose, an attempt was made to construct a locus of control scale with item contents relevant to the limited life spaces of young people. The resulting Causal Attribution Scale for Children (C.A.S.C.) yielded validity and reliability indices good enough to encourage its use in the substantive investigation.
To test the similarity in developmental antecedents between internal control orientation and high self-esteem, the relationship between the attributional orientations of subjects and their self-esteem was investigated along with sex, age and social class differences in both constructs.
Delinquents were drawn from a remand home, a community home, and borstal institutions. Controls were drawn from various secondary schools, a technical college, and from a group of interviewees for university places.
Results showed that delinquents were both significantly more external in control orientation and lower in self-esteem than controls. Intra-delinquent group differences showed that remand home delinquents were significantly more external but nonsignificant ly lower in self-esteem than all other groups of delinquents. Community home delinquents, though of the same age range as remand home delinquents, did well enough to be non-significantly different in both constructs from the much older borstal subjects. Suggestions that could yield administrative and therapeutic advantages were made.
While borstal boys were more internal in orientation and higher in self-esteem than borstal girls, female controls were more internal than male controls but lower in self-esteem than the latter. No social class differences were found.
Delinquency played a major role vis a vis the differences foundin the study. In contrast to controls, delinquents were also significantly more inclined to positive reinforcements.
Locus of control correlated more highly with self-esteem for controls than for delinquents and more highly for males than for females, possibly reflecting the differential treatment by society of males, females, and young offenders.
It was concluded that, among other things, a refined C.A.S.C. with the T.S.C.S. could effectively aid the detection and management of problems of delinquency.
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Institution: University of London, Bedford College (United Kingdom).