Locus of control and creativity in late middle childhood
Brink, Nicolaas Hiëronimus
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This study is part of an inter-university project, for which co-workers from Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education and University of the Free State gathered the data during 2000. The population consisted of children in their late middle childhood (grade 4 to grade 7) from schools in the Vaalpark and Bloemfontein (Free State), Potchefstroom (North West), Badplaas (Mpumalanga), Krugersdorp and Kempton Park (Gauteng), Kimberley (Northern Cape) and Durban (Kwazulu Natal) regions. A random sample, which was representative of the different race and socio-economic strata, was drawn from these children. The literature study indicated that little is known about the nature of locus of control in younger children and its relationship to creativity in the South African context. The aims of this study are therefore to determine the nature of locus of control in middle childhood; to examine locus of control in different age groups and to establish the relationship between locus of control and creativity. By using a single cross-sectional design, creativity was measured with subscales of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking and locus of control with the Nowicki-Strickland questionnaire. In conclusion the current study suggests that locus of control in late middle childhood has become slightly more externally orientated than it was 30 years ago. Cultural factors and the South-African context are much different in this study population though, and care must be taken not to make direct comparisons. With regard to the differences in the locus of control between the two age groups there is a definite statistical difference, with a shift to a more internal orientation in the older group. However, no practical significance was found. The hypothesis that externally orientated students would be less creative could not be validated and no correlation between locus of control and creativity could be discerned. These results seem to confirm a more dual dimensional view of some authors, in that a "bilocal" person strikes a healthy balance between beliefs in internal and external control, resulting in a more effective coping style.
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