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The effects of a re-entry program on locus of control and self-regard Dextraze, Rhonda Dianne


In this study the effects of skills training are examined, and the moderating effects of two individual difference variables -- locus of control and self-esteem -- are investigated. The training program "Career Opportunities in Preparation for Employment", or C.O.P.E., which is three months in length, prepares single parent mothers on income assistance for retraining or re-entry into the work place. Thirty-nine participants were pre- and post-tested using Rotter's Locus of Control Scale and Shostrom's Personal Orientation Inventory which contains a "Self-Regard" subscale. The sample included two separate C.O.P.E. classes and two separate control groups, totalling thirty-nine subjects. Interviews were carried out before training to assess the goals of the program for the referral agent, the instructor and the participants, and at the end of training to determine whether participants had career plans, whether they felt successful and to what they attributed success and failure. Repeated measures analysis of variance was employed to test hypotheses regarding effects of training on locus of control and self-regard. It was found that locus of control improved at a statistically significant level (p < .05) for both treatment and control groups over the time period between the pre- and post-tests. There was no statistically significant difference found in improvement of locus of control between the treatment and control group over the same period. Pre-post changes in measured self-regard were significantly greater (p < .05) for the experimental group than for the control group. Additional tests were carried out on this variable. An ANOVA for the self-regard variable indicated that no significant differences existed between the two treatment groups tested or between the treatment groups' measured improvement over time. However, a simple main effects test established an initial difference between treatment and control group means at pre-test time with no difference at post-test time. Interviews of the women at both pre- and post-test times indicated improved clarity in future plans, verbalized personal success in line with self-esteem changes and attributions for perceived success and failures. Findings suggest that both self-selection and instructor screening may have affected the analysis and may affect the usefulness of the program for participants.

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