Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

Monica Reis-Bergan

Daniel Holt

James Zimmerman

Abstract

Alcohol is a significant problem on university campuses, and rates of alcohol use and abuse are higher on college campuses than those found in the population at large (Rivenus, 1988). This study examines two constructs that may be related to alcohol behavior: purpose and locus of control. Moran (2009) defines purpose as: "an internal compass that integrates engagement in activities that affect others, self-awareness of one's reasons, and the intention to continue these activities" (p. 143). Locus of control refers to the degree to which a person takes responsibility over events in their life. There are two types of locus of control: internal and external (Rotter, 1975). An individual with an internal locus of control perceives that their actions influence events in their life, whereas an individual with an external locus of control believes that their actions have little to no influence over events in the life; instead, events in their life occur as a result of external factors, such as fate, chance, or luck. In this study, 138 undergraduate students were surveyed about their perceived purpose in life, locus of control orientation, and alcohol behaviors, including their drinking habits and experience with alcohol-related problems.

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