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Locus of control, attributional style and discipline problems in secondary schools

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This article presents the findings of a study hypothesizing that school discipline problems are a maladaptive response to the demand of the school environment as a result of deficits in the area of locus of control and attributional style. The findings indicate that an external orientation of locus of control and a passive pattern of attribution remain significant predictors of discipline problems when other factors are held constant. The findings lend support to the idea of establishing programmes that "induce appropriate attributions" in children and train teachers to become aware of the attributional process in order to effectively deal with discipline problems in school. Cognitive re-structuring is suggested as an effective means of intervention aimed at disputing the irrational beliefs, which leads to positive effects and consequences. This study was conducted on a sample of three hundred and eighty-four students recruited from the junior forms of four secondary schools in Hong Kong.

Keywords: Attributional style; Discipline problems; Locus of control

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Social Work & Social Administration, 13F KK Leung Building, The University of Hong Kong, Profulam Road, Hong Kong

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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