Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Psychology


Monica Reis-Bergan

Daniel D. Holt

James Zimmerman


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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