SEX EDUCATION, LOCUS OF CONTROL AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AUTONOMY IN YOUNG ADOLESCENTS

LESTINA MARGUERITE GRANT, Fordham University

Abstract

This study investigated the role of locus of control and sex information in the development of autonomy in young adolescents. Using a pre-post-post design, the study compared the test performance of an experimental group with that of a control group, both groups comprising the total 8th-grade classes in two comparable schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.^ Measures of reliability and validity were used to determine the appropriateness of the study's scales and indices (e.g. bi-variate tests of relationships and Pearson correlation coefficients calculated for each of the derived autonomy scales and the measures of internal locus of control).^ The instruments used to collect data in this study were: the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility Questionnaire (Crandall, 1969), as a measure of locus of control; a Sex Knowledge Questionnaire and an Autonomy Index, both respectively adaptations of the Kirby, Alter and Scales Sex Knowledge Scale and Personality Inventory of sexual attitudes of adolescents; and a Sex Education course, based on the KAS sex education curriculum.^ The major conclusions of the study were as follows: (1) A course in sex education results in the acquisition of more sex information than does casual learning. (2) A course in sex education is helpful to young adolescents in decision-making, e.g. they are less vulnerable to peer pressures in making decisions about sex. (3) The role of gender is important in developing a sex education course for young adolescents. The sex information needs of boys should be given special attention. (4) Sexual attitudes and the total development of the self are intimately related.^ The major recommendations emphasized the need for: (1) the development of a more focused sex knowledge curriculum, which may expand the difference found between the experimental and the control groups; (2) a study to identify the degree to which internality predisposes adolescents to develop autonomy more fully; (3) research to determine if differential sex education will help low-internality students develop more autonomously; (4) development of more reliable measures of adolescent autonomy; (5) investigation across a broader age range to explore important age differences, and (6) further research concerning male adolescent sexuality.^

Subject Area

Health education

Recommended Citation

GRANT, LESTINA MARGUERITE, "SEX EDUCATION, LOCUS OF CONTROL AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AUTONOMY IN YOUNG ADOLESCENTS" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8223603.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8223603

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