Thursday, 12 April 2018

Optimism/Pessimism and Its Relationship with Locus of Control Among Children and Adolescents

The aim of this study was to examine the gender and developmental period differences in optimism-pessimism and locus of control. Additionally, it aimed to assess the correlation between optimism-pessimism and subscale of locus of control (internal, external, and unknown). The sample consisted (340) participants of school students (165 boys and 125 girls) enrolled randomly, from primary and preparatory schools located in Aleppo city. The participants aged between 10 to 15 years (M= 12.4 male, 12.8 female).The participants completed two measures: 1-Optimism-Pessimism Scale (OPS) 2- Connell’s locus of Control Scale for Children (CLCS-C). Findings of the study revealed that, the external locus of control were higher among girls than among boys, while no significant differences had been found in internal and unknown locus of control. Aon the other hand, finding showed that, there was significant gender differences for optimism. Boys were found to be more optimistic than girls were. Regarding the correlation between optimism-pessimism and subscale of locus of control, there was significant and positive correlation between optimism and Internal control. Additionally between pessimism and external control on one hand, and between pessimism and unknown locus control on the other hand. Furthermore, it has been found a negative and significant correlation between pessimism and internal control and between optimism and unknown locus of control.

The personality of a child depends upon several factors including family composition, home environment, socialization, childhood experiences, education, socio-economic status, parents’ occupations etc. Family influences on personality development are highly significant as parent child relationship, parenting, emotional climate of home; size and type of family determine the process of development during childhood years. (Kokkinos, & Logginidou, 2005). The relation a child has with parents and other family members is one of the most important factors in personality development as family provides physical safety, economic support, social and emotional security (Rigby, 1993, Massachusetts, 2000, Batabyal, A. & Nijkamp, P 2017).

Optimism, pessimism and locus of control have been shown to be pervasive and important attributes of human thought and expression. Optimism has been shown to mitigate the effects of stressors on psychological functioning. Dispositional optimists (who hold generalized positive outcome expectancies) have shown less mood disturbance in response to a number of different stressors, including adaptation to school and college, (Yates, (2000). Optimism has also been associated with better physical and mental health. (Lennings, 2000). Recent years have witnessed substantial progress in understanding the contribution of psychosocial factors to physical and psychological health. One such factor, optimism, or the expectation of positive outcomes, has been tied to better physical health and more successful coping with health challenges (Ismail, A. (2001). However, the routes by which optimism might be associated with better health have not received systematic investigation.  

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