UBC Theses and Dissertations
Mediating and moderating effects of locus of control and appraisals of control on burglary victim coping Mackoff, Randy
The purpose of this study was to examine control beliefs and their role in the different ways victims cope with burglary. Two studies were conducted. In the first study, participants were college students who had been burglarized within the previous year. The volunteers were men and women between the ages of 19 and 37 (N=61). The participants completed Levenson's (1981) locus of control scale. The following week, in order to assist recall, the participants viewed a 2-minute video that depicted a residential burglary in progress. Immediately following the video, they completed a coping measure, situational appraisals of control measure, and importance of outcome measure. The second study was a conceptual replication of the first study and therefore followed the same procedures. However, in order to assess locus of control prior to victimization, participants were male and female college students (N=102) who had never been burglarized (experimentally induced victims). Zero-order correlations, discriminant analysis, and hierarchical multiple regression were used to examine the main, mediating, and moderating effects of locus of control, importance of outcome, situational appraisals of control, and gender on coping functions. Because previous research has found gender differences in reaction to criminal victimization, i t was hypothesized that the influence that gender has on coping results from an individual's locus of control orientation. It was also expected that the direction or strength of the locus of control and coping relation would be influenced by an individual's gender and by how much importance he or she attached to the victimization experience. In both the victim group and experimentally induced victim group, emotion-focused coping was significantly predicted by gender, locus of control, importance of outcome, and situational appraisals of control. However, problem-focused coping was significantly predicted by gender, locus of control, importance of outcome, and situational appraisals of control for the victim group only. Locus of control did not influence the gender and coping relation. The results indicated that in both groups men who held strong powerful others locus of control beliefs used less emotion-focused coping. In contrast, in the burglary victim group, women who held strong powerful others locus of control beliefs used more emotion-focused coping. However, there was no relationship between powerful others locus of control beliefs and emotion-focused coping for women in the experimentally induced victim group. For experimentally induced victims, both men and women with high chance locus of control beliefs used more emotion-focused coping. In both groups, importance of outcome did not moderate the locus of control and coping relation. Implications of these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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