Locus of control and sex-role beliefs in the prediction of assertiveness
Sajna Hebert, Susan
Master of Arts
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Locus of control has been identified as a strong predictor of assertiveness for men, but not for women. It was hypothesized that sex-role beliefs might moderate the locus of control-assertiveness link among women. In this study the relationship of locus of control and sex-role beliefs with self-assertion among 48 male and 192 female university students was examined. Paulhus' Spheres of Control scale and the Rathus Assertiveness Scale were used to measure locus of control and assertiveness respectively. The SEAS Scale was developed specifically for this study to assess sex-role beliefs. As hypothesized, egalitarian women evidenced a significantly stronger correlation between internal locus of control in the realm of personal efficacy and assertiveness than did women with traditional sex-role beliefs. For both men and women internal locus of control beliefs in the interpersonal realm were a significant predictor of assertiveness. This contradicts a large body of earlier research in which no such relationship was found among female subjects. Other differences in assertiveness and locus of control levels as a function of gender and sex-role beliefs are discussed.