Mentoring and locus of control

Willie Roy Cameron

Abstract

In college and in their personal lives, young people are experiencing difficulty in meeting their educational and personal goals. As a result, colleges and universities are finding it difficult to meet the needs of their students. These needs include moral, personal, and psychological support. The overall development of the student includes increasing student-faculty interactions. This development includes mental maturity. Mental maturity includes helping students develop a positive attitude. As a method to address student development, many universities and companies are turning to the process of mentoring. The mentoring process promotes a well-balanced and psychologically healthy student. This research is designed to measure the aspects of the mentoring experience. The mentoring experience was measured in the areas of educational, professional, and personal experience. The Locus of Control aspect was also studied in relation to personal qualities such as age, gender, grade point average, and student classification. A person's Locus of Control concept plays an important role in his or her mind set and belief systems. In our society, people with an external belief system are viewed as being less adaptive then individuals with an internal belief system. Internal belief systems are correlated with such positive attributes as greater achievements in college and in life events. Results of the study indicate that students have experienced a mentoring relationship either in their educational/professional development or personal life. The age and mentoring variables were confounded by the lack of students from all of the age ranges being studied. The student classification variables showed predicted relationship. This relationship could have been stronger had there been representation from all the age ranges studied. The academic performance (grade point average) and mentoring variables did not show predicted relationships. The ethnic background variable contained mostly African Americans and Caucasians, with Caucasians comprising most of the sampled students. The gender and locus of control variables showed no relationship because of the ratio of females to males included in the study. The results also indicated that bilocals (students that fall in the middle of the locus of control scale) seem to be more adaptive generally speaking.