The study investigated Locus of Control and Resilience as
determinants of Psychological Well-being among students. Two hundred and ten (210)
participants made up of one hundred males (100) and one hundred and ten (110)
females of first year and final year students were drawn from selected
department in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Ebonyi State
University, using a purposive sampling technique. Their ages range from 18-29
years. The Subjective Well-Being Scale (SWBS) developed by Onyeizugbo (2011),
The Locus of Control Behaviour Scale developed by Craig, Franklin and Andrews
(1984) and The 14-Item Resilience Scale (RS-14) developed by Wagnild and Young
(1993) were distributed to the participants which was used to generate data. A
cross sectional design was used for the study and data analyzed with multiple
regression statistics. Two alternate hypotheses were formulated and tested. The
result showed that Locus of Control was weakly related to Psychological
Well-Being while Resilience was strongly related to Psychological Well-Being at
(r=.09, p<.05) and (r=.15, p<.001) respectively. Whereas on the part of
the regression analysis, Locus of Control failed to determine Psychological
Well-Being. However Resilience actually determined Psychological Well-Being.
Therefore from the findings of this study, one could say that Resilience play a
significant role in determining Psychological Well-Being.
The literature on psychological well-being has progressed
rapidly since the emergence of the field over five years ago. As recent surveys
show psychologists and other social scientists have taken huge steps in their
understanding of the factors influencing psychological/subjective well-being.
One formulation, traceable to Bradburns (1969) seminal work, distinguished
between positive and negative affect and defined happiness as the balance
between the two (Steel ,Piers, Schmidt, Joseph, Shultz & Jonas, 2008).
prior endeavours have grappled minimally with the core underlying question: What
does it mean to be well psychologically?
It is a
question that has been pondered by philosophers and theologians for centuries,
and now health psychologists are turning their spotlight to the question. They
are doing that by investigating subjective well-being (psychological
well-being), peoples evaluation of their lives in terms of both their thoughts
and their emotions. Considered another way, psychological well.-being is the
measure of how happy people are (Oishi & Diener, 2001; Diener, Lucas &
Diener (1997), these evaluations may be in the form of cognitions or in the
form of affect. The cognitive part is an information based appraisal of ones
life; that is when a person gives conscious evaluative judgments about ones
satisfaction with life as a whole. The affective part is a hedonic evaluation
guided by emotions and feelings such as frequency with which people experience
pleasant/unpleasant moods in relation to their lives.
well-being has its origin from Martin Seligmans concept of positive
psychology, which has its purpose to use scientific understanding and effective
interventions to aid a satVfactory life (Seligman, & Csikszentmihalyi,
2000; Seligman, 1998; Compton, 2005), rather than merely treating mental
illness. In some sense, all medical and psychological interventions, as well as
political, social and economic ones, aim at increasing peoples quality of life
as one of their main objectives (Vazques, 2009). As a matter of fact, we make many
of our everyday decisions by weighing up the degree of happiness to be reached
by us or by our loved ones (Gilbert, 2006).
have understandably focused on well-being that is psychological or
subjective (e.g. Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999). It is a state of
good mental and emotional health. People who are well psychologically or
healthy are free from mental disorders and have managed their stress so that it
does not interfere with their ability to enjoy life and participate in society.
As summarised by Huppert (2009) psychological well-being is about life going
well. It is the combination of feeling good and functioning effectively. By
definition therefore, people with high psychological well-being report feeling
happy, capable, well-supported, and satisfied with life and so on. Hupperts
review also claims the consequences of psychological well-being to include
better physical health, mediated possibly by brain activation patterns,
neorochemical effect and genetic factors.
well-being specifically was widely advocated by psychologist Ryff (1989),
according to her psychological well-being should be seen as consisting of six
components. Each dimension posits a different challenge that people find in
their effort to function positively (Keyes, Shomtkin, & Ryff, 2002; Ryff
& Keyes, 1995). In combination these dimensions encompass a breath of wellness
that includes positive evaluations of ones past life, an individuals
satisfaction or happiness with himself and is thought to be necessary for good
mental health (Shepard, 1979) (self-acceptance), a sense of continued growth
and development as a person(personal growth) , the belief that ones life is
purposeful and meaningful with others (positive relations with others), the
capacity to manage effectively ones life and surrounding world (environmental
mastery), and a sense of self determination (autonomy) ( Ryff,1989b,1995).
It has been
proven of the many benefits that can be derived from psychological well-being.
In a very intensive study by Diener (2008) and his colleagues, people who
scored high in psychological well-being later earned high income and performed
better at work than people who score low in well being: it is also found to be
related to physical health.
Psychological well-being is therefore valuable, not only
because it assesses well-being more directly but it has beneficial
psychological well-being should not be confused with the question of whether or
not you suffer from mental or emotional disorders. It concerns itself with the
feelings of normal individuals, or subjects from the general population. When
we talk about psychological well-being we are referring to how ordinary people
are doing in life. Often life presents the individu3 with extraordinary
challenges, complexities, setbacks and hardships. Psychological well-being
(health) concerns itself with how you cope, how you find life to be interesting
and enjoyable. Although life is better when we are feeling good, there is no
avoiding the fact that there will be ups and downs. In the end psychological
well-being is basically about How are you doing?
Igbo in Onwuasoanya (2008) the ability to accept p changes and cope with
different situations in life: to regain that sense of normalcy or psychological
wellness after going through or encountering difficulties mark psychological
balance or well-being. Psychological well-being depends on normal behaviours
against abnormal behaviours. Therefore, to attain a reasonable level of psychological
well being the individual should have overcome the problems of abnormal
behaviours, (Ugoani & Ewuzie, 2013).
In this research two independent variables will be
examined, which are locus of control and resilience.
Locus of control
is based on the social learning theory of Rotter and the attribution theory of
Heider (Schepers, 1995). The full name is locus of control of reinforcement (Rotter, 1954). According to him,
our behaviours are controlled by rewar and punishments, and that it was these
consequences for our actions that determined our beliefs about the underlying
causes for these actions. A locus of control orientation is a belief about
whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do on event outside
our personal control (Zimbardo, 1985). Our beliefs about what causes our actions
then influence our behaviours and attitude a bearing on the outcomes of our
distinguished two extremes of this concept internals and externals. People with
an internal locus of control believe that the outcomes of their action are a
result of their own personal efforts (Andrisani & Nestel, 1976), abilities
(Carrim, Basson & Coetzee, 2006), or permanent characteristics (Littunen
& Storhammer, 2000). They believe that hard work and personal abilities
lead to positive outcomes (Carrim et al, 2006). Thus these individuals
interpret reinforcements they receive from their surroundings as contingent
upon their own actions (Lee-Kelley, 2006) .This belief entails that they are
masters of their fates (Boone, Van Olfen & Van Witheloostuijin, 2005).
contrary, people with an external locus of control believe that their own
actions are dependent on factors outside their personal control (Landy &
Contre, 2004; Martin, Thomas, Charles, Epitropaki & McNamara, 2005). The
consequences of behaviour are randomly administered, and are thought to be
controlled by outside forces (Connally, 1980; Marsh & Weary,
1995). Rotter himself had suggested four types of beliefs,
which include: powerful others luck or chance, fate, and a belief that the
world is too complex to be predicted (Marks, 1998). Externals are reluctant to
change behaviour as they do not see it as a primary source for altering
reinforcements. Even in the case of positive reinforcement the credit may not
be taken personally but reflected upon ease of task, luck or on a powerful hand
by a powerful other (Hyatt & Prawitt, 2001) However it cannot be said that
internality is good while externality is bad, which orientation one takes has a
bearing on his/her long term success and well-being.
In addition to
the internal and external locus of control expectancy, the concept of dual
control entails a mix of internality and externality within an individual
(Torun & April, 2006). How these expectancies coexist is not completely
understood (Connoly, 1980), but it can be expected that a combination of
internal and external expectancies in different specific situations of an
individual can lead to a generalised expectancy that is bi-local. Wong and
Sproule (1984) state bi-locals
cope more efficiently by having a mix of internal control (personal
responsibility) and external control (faith in outside resources) however this
view is not predominant in academic literature, where the majority of the
authors present a preference towards internality for individual accomplishment
control is a common criterion used for distinguishing wellness (Bradburn,
1969). Research by Phillips (1980), Reker (1977), Yarnell (1971), and Sammon,
Reznikoff, Geisenger, (1985) indicated a positive correlation between internal
locus of control and psychological well-being. Individuals who are
psychologically well have an enduring sense of personal control (Adams, Bezner,
Drabbs, Zambarano, & Steinhardt, 2000). Witmer and Sweeny (1992) pointed
out that individuals with a sense of inner control are likely to collect
information about disease and health maintenance to enable them to improve
health habits and implement effective care.
published the first research findings on resilience. He used epidemiology,
which is the study of who gets ill, who does not, and why, to uncover the risks
and the protective factors that now help define resilience. In Mastens (1989)
study, the results showed that children with a schizophrenic parent may not
obtain comforting care giving compared to children with healthy parents, and
such situations had an impact on childrens development.
Often the consequences
of anxiety, loneliness, stress; depression, academic performance,
underachievement, issues with friends and family, vulnerability to drug and
alcohol misuse and other non productive, self destructive behaviour can be
significantly reduced if a person has a tendency to rapidly cope with these
negative effects. Resilience refers to the ability to bounce back from
stressful experiences quickly and effectively while also being able to return
to the original level of emotional well-being after facing times of adversities
(Noble & McGrath, 2005; Carver, 1998). According to Zautra, Hall and
Murray, (2010), resilience is successful adaptation to adversity (Yu &
Zhang, 2007; Ye ,Ho, Cheung & Cheung, 2010; Carver, Schemer &
Segerstrom, 2010; Karademas, 2006). Yates and Masten, (2004) have observed that
many children after having faced adverse experiences were able to return to the
normal state of psychological well-being. People high in resilience are also,
seen as more optimistic when confronted with situations of adversities which in
turn lead to a higher psychological well-being (Rutter, 2006).
Rutter (1987), resilience is a set of protective factors, that modify,
ameliorate, or alter a persons response to a maladaptive outcome. Braddock
(1991) employed the term in a similarly general way by conceptualizing
resilience as an individuals positive response to situations of stress and
adversity. In general, resilient persons are believed to possess the quality of
rebounding and carrying on, an ability to bounce back and get on with life
after adversity (Dyer & McGuinness, 1996; Richardson, Neiger, Jensen, &
researches now show that resilience is the result of individuals being able to
interact with their environment and the processes that either promote or
protect them against the overwhelming influence of risk factors (Zautra, Hall,
& Murray, 2010). These processes may be individual coping strategies, or
may he helped by good families, schools, communities and social policies that
make resilience more likely to occur (Lead beater, Dodgen, & Solarz, 2005).
relationship between students locus of control orientation and resilience has
been duly proven by studies (Christopher & Kulig, 2000). For university
students, resilience is most important, as life at university can be complex
and demanding, requiring the capacity to cope with the academic/coursework
demands, study/life balance, finances and money problems. As a result they
experience increased levels of mental ill health compare to their
non-university peers (Stallman, 2010). Locus of control on the other hand has
been linked to many developmental outcomes among adolescents like self esteem,
school satisfaction, and levels of perceived stress. Conceivably, students who
experience higher levels of positive well-being will miss fewer days of school
and show icreased productivity and creativity while at school. In fact, studies
do show that hope, which is associated with life satisfaction and positive
well-being (Gilman, Dooley, & Florell 2006), is linked to increased
academic success (Marques, Lopez, & Pais-Ribeiro, 2011).
(2012) conducted a survey on occupational stress, psychological well-being and
workers behaviour in manufacturing industries in South-West Nigeria. Using a
total of 435 respondents, the finding of the study revealed that there was a
significant influence of occupational stress on psychological well-being and
workers behaviour. However, although the study utilised a large sample, they
were only drawn from the South-Western part of the country, instead of the
entire six geopolitical zones which make up the country. As
a result, the finding can only be generalised on the group
studied. Also all data were based on self-report, as causality cannot be
determined since it was not subjected to experimental observation.
Based on this
the following questions will be addressed:
1. Will locus of control
determine psychological well-being among university students?
2. Will resilience determine
psychological well-being among university students?
1. To know whether locus
of control will determine psychological well-being among students.
2. To investigate whether
resilience will determine psychological well-being among university students.
Locus of control: Is the belief a person has about the outcomes of events
and his ability to control events or circumstances he encounters in life.
Resilience: This is the process whereby individuals are able to
adjust positively after experiencing adversity or stressful situations.
Resilient people recover quickly from adversities of life.
well-being: A state of optimal mental
and emotional functioning and satisfaction with ones life, it also entails how
happy people are with their life.