Locus of control and self-concept in achieving and underachieving gifted students
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between locus of control and achievement, and between self-concept and achievement in achieving and underachieving gifted students. The subjects were fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students in the Anderson Community Schools who were currently participating in the gifted program, or who had been screened for the program, but were not currently participating. The schools that participated in the study represented a cross section of the socio-economic, cultural, and racial composition of the city. The participating subjects had received a score of 120 or above on the Slosson Test of Intelligence. The 60 subjects were divided into two groups based on grades for 5 consecutive six-week grading periods. Students who had received only A and B grades were placed in the achievers group, while students who had received one or more C grades (or below) during the same time period were placed in the underachievers group.Subjects were removed from their classrooms and administered the Nowicki- Strickland Locus of Control for Children and the Piers-Harris SelfConcept Scale in small groups.Multivariate analyses of variance were used to determine if significant differences existed between gifted achievers and underachievers on each of the two instruments. No significant differences were found between the achievers and underachievers on either self-concept or locus of control at the .05 level. Several researchers, including Shavelson and Bolus, (1982) have indicated academic self-concept is more highly correlated with academic achievement than are other dimensions of self-concept. Therefore, subsequent univariate analysis on the Piers-Harris subtests showed that achievers and underachievers were significantly different on the intellectual and school status subscale (F = 9.0, p <.01).As a result of the analysis of the data collected in this study, the findings indicated that, subject to the limitations of this investigation, gifted achievers and underachievers do not differ significantly on measures of locus of control or global self-concept. However, the results of subsequent univariate analyses indicated that, in fact, some differences between the groups may exist.