Locus of Control, Self-Control, and Gender as Predictors of Internalizing and Externalizing Problems in Children and Adolescents in Northern Chile

Flores, Jerome; Caqueo-Urizar, Alejandra; Ramirez, Cristian; Arancio, Giaela; Cofre, Juan Pablo


Background Both the control that people attribute to themselves over a situation (locus of control) and the control they attribute to themselves (self-control) have been proposed as aspects that can have an effect on internalizing problems in young people. There is little evidence of this relationship in the infantile-juvenile population in Latin America. Objective To establish whether there is a significant predictive relationship of locus of control and self-control over internalizing and externalizing problems in the infantile-juvenile population, both at a general level and dimension-specific. These include depression, anxiety, social anxiety, somatic complaints, and post-traumatic stress. Methods A cross-sectional-correlational study was carried out to establish if there was a possible predictive relationship in 3,664 schoolchildren of both primary (4th-6th grade) and secondary (7th-12th grade) in northern Chile, using the short version of the Nowicki-Strickland scale to measure locus of control, the Tangney scale to measure self-control, and the Child and Adolescent Evaluation System (SENA) to measure the dimensions of internalized problems. Hypotheses: (1) Greater self-control is associated with lower levels of internalizing and externalizing problems. (2) Higher external locus of control is associated with higher levels of internalizing and externalizing problems. (3) Self-control, locus of control, and gender can together significantly predict each of the internalizing and externalizing problems. Results Evidence is found to support the first two hypotheses fully and partially support the third, since gender did not function as a predictor in all models. Conclusion The results confirm previous international research in that both locus of control and self-control appear to have a significant influence on internalizing and externalizing problems. Implications for mental health promotion in this population are discussed.

Más información

Título según WOS: ID WOS:000565340200001 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: Frontiers in Psychology
Volumen: 11
Editorial: Frontiers Media S. A.
Fecha de publicación: 2020


Notas: ISI