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LOCUS OF CONTROL AND THE ATTRIBUTION FOR POVERTY: COMPARING LEBANESE AND SOUTH AFRICAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

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Abstract:

The attitudes of a sample of 443 Lebanese and South African college students towards the causes of poverty as measured by their locus of control and socio-demographic background were studied. Cross-national differences and personality style constructs of external and internal locus of control were used in a MANCOVA design. No significant interaction differences appeared between national status and locus of control, which gave no support to the main hypothesis of this study that respondents from individualistic cultures (South Africa) have internal locus of control and make more individualistic attributions of poverty. Lebanese students were more structuralistic, and had more external than internal locus of control than South Africans. The independent variable of class did not appear as a predictor to the structural attribution for poverty. Hence, university education may be the most important factor in the attributions of poverty. Conceptualization in the design as to how individuals see poverty outside their immediate environment and how this can affect the formation of their poverty attitudes are suggested as areas for further research.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2006.34.7.777

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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