Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
M. Kaye Parnell
The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a relationship among children's internal or external locus of control, self-esteem, and level of social play. The study, conducted early in the year to minimize the effect of the classroom environment on test results, included 39 children enrolled in either the morning or afternoon sections of the author's kindergarten class. Eight days after the start of school the following instruments were administered individually to each child by trained volunteers: the Preschool and Primary Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Control Scale (PPNS-IE) by Stephen Nowicki, Jr., and Marshall P. Duke to assess locus of control and the Preschool Self-Concept Picture Test (PSCPT) by Rosestelle B. Woolner to assess self-esteem.
After school was in session for 10 days, trained volunteers observed and coded children's play behavior on a rating scale in which values were assigned to the following behavior categories: unoccupied behavior, solitary play, onlooker behavior, parallel play, associative play, and cooperative play. In addition, a scale reflecting negative, positive, and neutral affect was used. The schedule for coding was arranged so that each child was observed twice
during a 60 minute play period on 4 different days over a 2 week interval.
The variables in this study included self-esteem, locus of control, play category, affective category, age in years, and sex of child. The relationship among the variables was assessed in two ways, correlational analysis and analyses of variance. Results of this study indicated that there were no significant relationships among locus of control, self-esteem, and level of social play. However, correlations were found between play category and age, play category and affective category, and sex of child and self-esteem. A two-way analysis of variance using self-esteem scores, with sex of child and age group as factors, revealed that age group was highly significant and sex of child by age group interaction was also significant. The ANOVA of the play category scores, with sex of child and age group as factors, revealed that age group was nearly significant. In the analysis of self-esteem scores, with sex of child and locus of control group as factors, sex of child was significant.
Knudsen, Patricia A., "The relationship of locus of control, self-esteem, and level of social play" (1993). Student Work. 258.