The relationship between internal-external locus of control and smoking behavior among university students in the state of Virginia
This study investigated the relationship between Internal-External Locus of Control and smoking behavior among university students in the State of Virginia.
It was hypothesized that smokers would have higher I-E scores than exsmokers and nonsmokers; heavy female smokers would have higher I-E scores than male heavy smokers; light female smokers would have higher I-E scores than male light smokers; heavy female-male smokers would have higher I-E scores than female-male light smokers; smokers not convinced by the Surgeon General's Report will have higher I-E scores than smokers who were convinced; smokers convinced by the Surgeon General's Report and stopped smoking will have lower I-E scores than smokers convinced and continuing to smoke; younger university students would have higher I-E scores than older students; students selecting the education curriculum would have higher I-E scores than students selecting other curriculum areas; and female university students would have higher I-E scores than male university students.
Five-hundred-fifteen female and male undergraduate students in the universities of Virginia were administered an information questionnaire and Rotter's Social Opinion Questionnaire. The information smoking questionnaire contained the following seven questions: sex of subject, age, curriculum, grade level, present smoking status, future behavior concerning smoking, and considering the Surgeon General's Report as credible information. Rotter's Social Opinion Questionnaire included twenty-nine questions. The selection of answers was determined by a pair of alternatives lettered 1 or 2 (yes or no) which the students strongly believed to be the case as far as they were concerned. The test was scored in the direction of External Control. The higher the score, the more Externally oriented was the subject.
While all the hypotheses were not supported, the results did indicate that female heavy smokers scored significantly more External than male heavy smokers; older university students regardless of sex scored significantly more Internal than younger university students; female and male students in the universities of Virginia are knowledgeable of the linkage of smoking and disease as indicated by their almost unanimous acceptance of the Surgeon General's Report as credible information.
Female university students scored significantly higher on the I-E scale than males in several variables. A significant main effect was found for sex of students. There was a significant interaction found between sex and smoking groups with a significant difference found between heavy female smokers versus male heavy smokers. A significant main effect was found for age and sex.
Smokers regardless of sex did not score significantly higher than. nonsmokers and exsmokers. Female light smokers did not score significantly higher than male light smokers. Smokers convinced by the Surgeon General's Report and stopped smoking did not score significantly lower than smokers convinced and continued to smoke. There were no interactions found to be significant between sex and credibility of Surgeon General's Report, future smoking plans, and smoking groups.