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The relationship of locus of control to career development in college engineering students

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  • The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between career development and locus of control as they relate to barriers encountered in career development. The sample included 144 students in the engineering program at Oregon State University. The Rotter Internal- External Scale and the Career Development Inventory (Form CU) were employed. Analyses included the use of multiple regression models. Correlations were performed to build a table of relationships between variables. Two-way analyses of variance provided information on the relationships and interactive effects between scale scores and demographic variables. Based on the results of the study, the following conclusions were reached: 1. Males' scores rose from the pre-professional to the professional level on all scales of the career development measure. Females' scores on attitude scales rose between the levels; however, there were significant decreases in females' performance on scales measuring knowledge about careers and about their chosen career. 2. There were no significant differences in grade-point average among the four subsamples defined by sex and level. 3. Locus of control predicted career development in professional-level males but not among the other groups. 4. Professional-level females showed an inverse relationship between knowledge about their career field and attitude toward careers. They also showed an inverse relationship between grade-point average and knowledge about their career field. This may indicate difficulties related to the women's non-traditional status. Theoretical implications of the study were discussed and include development of an alternate model for predicting students' subseguent career decisions.
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