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Development of locus of control: A comparison between adolescents from middle- and lower-socioeconomic class

Seemanti Ghosh

Working Papers from Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow

Abstract: Locus of control is one’s perceived causality between action and reinforcements, with two extreme perceptions being internal and external. It is a key non-cognitive attribute that has serious influence on education and labour market outcomes, one’s behavioural response to adversities in life and wellbeing in general. However, a child is not born with any perception of control. Control expectancies are shaped through life’s experiences that are heavily determined by one’s socioeconomic class. This study compares the developmental trajectory of control expectancies between adolescents from middle- and lower-class households in India. The results suggest that as the adolescents from middle-class feel more in control of their lives as they grow older therefore aligning their locus internally. Though the adolescents from lower-class feel more in control early on in their lives, this sentiment declines much faster, equalizing with the middle-class group at age ten and diverging thereafter, significantly shifting towards external alignment of locus of control. This study extends our knowledge about biases in perception of control among adolescents from lower-socioeconomic class in a developing country like India. This study also highlights the paucity of longitudinal studies in this literature.

Keywords: non-cognitive; locus of control; socioeconomic class; education; labour; inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 I24 I31 J24 O12 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-neu
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