Date of Award

5-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Gilbert, Brenda

Abstract

This study investigated whether locus of control was a moderator variable between childhood sexual abuse and anxiety. Three hundred undergraduate students were recruited from a large Midwestern University. Measures that were used included: a subject demographics form, Rotter's I-E Scale, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Russell Sexual Abuse Scale, and Levenson's Locus of Control Scale. A moderated regression analysis indicated that locus of control did not moderate the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and anxiety. There was a significant positive relationship between both childhood sexual abuse and anxiety and locus of control and anxiety. Further, participants who had experienced sexual abuse before they were 16 years old were likely to have experienced abuse again after the age of 18. This study also examined the correlation between Rotter's I-E scale and Levenson's locus of control scales in order to better understand what aspects of locus of control Rotter's I-E scale measures and because Levenson's locus of control scales are newer measures of locus of control than Rotter's I-E scale. This study found that the scales correlate significantly.

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