Connect with us


Influence Of Gender And Locus Of Control On The Psychological Well-Being Among Distance Learner’s In Owerri




This study examined the influence of Gender And Locus of Control on the Psychological Well-Being Among Distance Learner’s in Owerri, a total of two hundred and thirty six (236) undergraduates were drawn for this study. Thr participants comprised of 118 male and 118 females, within the age range of 17-30 years and a mean age of 23.5. They were drawn from Imo State University Owerri. The participants were drawn using convenient sampling technique. The participants were administered with the internal Locus of Control Scale (LCS) and Symptom Distress Checklist 90 (SCL-90). Three hypotheses were postulated and tested and 2-Way ANOVA was used to analyze the data generated. Result showed that gender has significant influence on psychological well being, locus of control does not have significant influence on psychological wellbeing. Despite the findings of this study, it was recommended that further research should be carried out on the moderating effects of distant learners to cub the psychological distress they face.

See also  Impact Of Personality Traits On Academic Performance Of Students In Enugu State



Background to the Study

According to Huppert (2009), “Psychological well-being is about lives going well. It is the combination of feeling good and functioning effectively.” An individual with high psychological well-being is happy, capable, well-supported, satisfied with professional and personal life. Psychological well-being indicates physical and mental wellness. Singh (1990) has stated that psychological well-being is difficult to define. It has been taken to consist of discomfort or desirability and from any disturbance of mental functions. It bothers on people’s feelings, such feelings may range from negative mental states or psychological strains such as anxiety, depression, frustration, emotional exhaustion, unhappiness, dissatisfaction to a state which has been identified as positive mental health (Jahoda, 1958; Warr, 1974).

Psychological wellbeing refers to how life goes for a particular person. It is a cognitive judgmental process which gives an evaluation of a person’s life satisfaction according to his chosen criteria (Shin, 2012). This judgment of how satisfied an individual is with his state of affairs is based on comparison with a standard he sets for himself (Diener, 1984).

Scholars like Nevetuah (2008) opined that although everyone has an opinion about their psychological wellbeing but no one knows precisely what it means in general. In consonance with this, Shin (2012) added that this individualistic opinion of psychological wellbeing might even be an “idiosyncratic mysteries” which is conditioned in levels of variability in individuals. The concept was further corroborated by Lawton (1990), as involving a multi-dimensional evaluation of both intrapersonal and social normative criteria of an individual in the past, current and anticipated which he concluded is ultimately decided by his objective and subjective dimensions of his psychological well-being.

Early researchers inferred the psychological wellbeing of individuals through objective and subjective indicators with specific socially desirable responses to assess living conditions which may be in respect of the percentage of the unemployed labour force and crime rates. It may also be in terms of material well-being, health, productivity, intimacy, safety and emotional wellbeing. These indicators are satisfaction weighted by their importance to the individuals and also normative to a population or group (Cummins, 1997). Thus, where one individual may access his life as a whole by focusing on his employment status, another individual may focus his assessment on his relationships with family and friends.

The position of Cummins (1997) was supported by Bouchey, etal (2010) who proposed that the individual conceptualization of the psychological wellbeing depends on subjective evaluation, functional expression and emotional evaluation. Further related contributions by Swart (2004) who added as basic material needs are met, individuals move to a materialistic phase in which they are concerned with self-fulfillment and more attainment and concluded that psychological wellbeing should be considered on the basis of positive indicators like “ a basic satisfaction with oneself and one’s existence or life satisfaction”.

Psychological well-being is viewed in different ways. One views it according to the hedonic and eudaimonic approaches of early philosophers. Subjective well-being was coined by Ryan and Deci (2001) as composed of perception of pleasure, displeasure, satisfaction and happiness which runs along the hedonic approach. Another way is the eudaimonic approach or the psychological well-being model that takes into account the mechanisms of healthy functioning and adjustment. Psychological well-being (PWB) is said to be more stable than subjective well-being which could fluctuate with life experiences. It is also argued that PWB could lead to adaptive human functioning and positive life experiences. Other recent proposal take on the existential approach of psychological well-being that argues that the good life is not being free of pain and difficulties but one that is lived in spite of it. More recent model of psychological well-being is that of Carol Ryff (Ryff & Singer, 1998) that proposes a sixfactor model of psychological well-being. Ryff used the various views such as the developmental approach of Erikson, Buhler’s basic life tendencies, Neurgarten’s personality changes, Maslow’s conception of selfactualization, Allport’s conception of maturity, Roger’s conceptualization of fully-functioning person and Jung’s description of individuation to come up with her integrated model of psychological well-being.

Those models of psychological wellbeing are; (a) Autonomy is the regulation of one’s own behaviour through an internal locus of control (Ryff, 1989; Ryff & Keyes, 1995). A fully-functioning person has a high level of internal evaluation, assessing the self on personal standards and achievements while not relying on the standards of others. (b) Personal growth is the ability to develop and expand the self, to become a fully functioning person, to self-actualize and accomplish goals (Ryff, 1989; Ryff & Keyes, 1995). To achieve peak psychological functioning one must continue to develop the self through growth in various facets of life (Ryff, 1989). (c) Environmental mastery refers to choosing and controlling the surrounding and imagined environment through physical and/or mental actions (Ryff & Keyes, 1995). While a high level of environmental mastery reflects control over one’s context, a low level is related to inability to successful control one’s environment (Ryff, 1989). (d) Purpose in life refers to the perceived significance of one’s existence and involves the setting and reaching of goals, which contribute to the appreciation of life (Ryff, 1989; Ryff & Keyes, 1995). (e) Positive relation with others is an essential component in the development of trusting and lasting relationships as well as belonging to a network of communication and support (Ryff, 1989; Ryff & Keyes, 1995). (f) Self-acceptance is the most recurring aspect of psychological well-being. It is a fundamental feature of mental health and an element of optimal functioning (Ryff, 1989; Ryff & Keyes, 1995).

A gender difference is a distinction of biological and/or physiological characteristics typically associated with either male or female or species in general. While the social sciences sometimes approaches gender as a social construct and gender studies particularly do , research in the natural sciences investigates whether biological differences in males and females influences the development of gender in humans. Gender is the characteristics, whether biological or socially influenced, by which people are defined as male and female.

Gender differences in psychological well-being are important because of the many efforts being made in contemporary society to empower all individuals to achieve self-actualization and utilize their full potential. In a post feminist context this incorporates the idea of an “equal opportunities” society; yet social stereotypes still remain Perez (2012). All people are equal but not identical, and the possible differences between people need to be considered in order to empower all individuals to achieve self-actualization and to fulfill their potential (thereby promoting optimal psychological well-being), Whilst being offered equal opportunities

Investigating gender differences in psychological well-being is important as not all people are identical. Considering differences among them will help in the effort to empower individuals to achieve their full-potential and self-actualization. Recent studies on gender differences in psychological well-being have yielded contradictory findings (Ryff & Singer, 1998; Abbu-Rayya, 2005; Roothman et al., 2003) which underscores the need to study more on the impact of gender on important well-being outcomes.

Current studies on the existence of gender differences, including those related to psychological wellbeing reflect contradictory result and a distinct lack of consensus (Ryff and Singer, 1998; Strumpfer, 1995). Gender differences in psychological wellbeing are important because of the many efforts being made in contemporary society to empower all individuals to achieve self-actualization and utilize their full potential. In a post-feminist context this incorporates the idea of an “equal opportunities” society; yet social stereotypes still remain (Connors, 1990; Eagly,1987; Turner and Sterk, 1994). All people are but not identical, and the possible differences between need to be considered in order to empower all individuals to achieve self-actualization and to fulfill their potential (thereby promoting optimal psychological wellbeing), whilst being offered equal opportunities.

Based on previous studies and qualitative experiences, (Crose, Nicholas, Gobble and Frank, 1992) believe that gender differences do exist in almost every aspect of health and health care. In a Taiwanese study, Lu (2000) discovered gender differences while examining conjugal congruence on role experiences and psychological wellbeing, while (Stephens, Dulberg and Joubert, 1999) found gender differences in a study examining mental health in the Canadian population. Marks (1996) also found differences in her Wisconsin study, but ascribed these primary to marital status, which interacts with gender, rather than to gender differences

Locus of control is a personality construct developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1966, which refers to an individual’s perception of the locus of events as determined internally by his or her behaviour versus fate, luck or external circumstances (Ziegler, 2006). It is a belief about whether the outcomes of individual’s action are contingent on what we do or on events outside our personal control. Locus of control is equally the degree to which individuals believe that things that happen to them are due to internal versus external factors. These beliefs are rooted in individual’s actions and behavior.

See also  Personality And Gender As Predictors Of Coping Behaviour Of Suspects In Police Custody In Imo State

Locus of control plays a major role in one’s perception of situation and possible reactions on what is happening or should be happening. This has the ability of influencing one’s reactions to situations that are considered unacceptable. Individuals with internal locus of control believe that they can influence the outcomes of their lives. They also attribute their achievements in life to their skills, abilities and knowledge. They take pride in good outcomes and feel disappointed in bad outcomes (Bassey & Ezeh, 2005). A person with dominant external locus of control is convinced that anything that happens is the result of fate, luck or external powers and these believe often cause feelings of anger, frustration, depression and aggression (Swart, 2004).

Statement of the Problem

For long, attention of researchers, psychotherapist, psychologists, clinicians and social workers have focused more on psychological wellbeing of individuals thereby paying less attention to its vital definite determinants such as locus of control and gender-related factors. This has however created a big service information gap on the psychological wellbeing experienced by individuals most especially students. However, very few researchers have evaluated the effect of gender and locus of control as predictors of psychological wellbeing of individuals. This problem necessitates the need for the study.

Purpose of the Study

The researcher intends to know;

  1. If gender will influence psychological well being among distant learners in Owerri
  2. If locus of control will influence psychological wellbeing among distant learners in Owerri
  3. If there will be an interactive effect of gender and locus of control on psychological wellbeing among distant learners in Owerri,

Operational Definition of Terms

Gender:  it is referred to as the biological sex of an individual usually male or female.

Locus of Control:   This refers to the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control. It is measured with Internal-External Locus of Control (I-ELCS) developed by Rotter (1966, 1975)

Psychological Wellbeing:  May be defined as one’s emotional and cognitive evaluations of his or her own life. It is measured using Symptom Distress Checklist 90 (SCL-90) developed by Derogatis, Lipman & Covi (1977).

Pages:  53

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF         

Chapters: 1-5                                 

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.



Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Project Materials

IMSU Info contains over 1000 project material in various departments, kindly select your department below to uncover all the topics/materials therein.