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Title: Locus of control, an exploration of the nursing students' views on control, autonomy and satisfaction
Author: Ponto, Maria Teresa
Awarding Body: South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis examined the meanings of student nurses' Locus of Control, satisfaction, a utonomy and professional accountability. The thesis a Iso assessed whether perceptions of these concepts change during the time on a nursing course. The participants were 170 nursing (non graduate and graduate) students from 4 different groups studying for Diploma in Nursing. In Phase 1, all participants completed LOC and Satisfaction Questionnaires. In Phase 2, 11 participants from graduate group were interviewed at the beginning and the end of their course, 2 years later. The qualitative data were analysed usmg Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings from Phase 1 demonstrated that students in this sample were more 'externally' rated when compared with other student populations (LOC mean 13.2 SD 3.85) but became more 'internally' rated towards the end of the course. Satisfaction data showed that the students were more satisfied at the beginning of the course and became progressively less satisfied the longer they were 0 n the course. This was demonstrated by a significant negative correlation between External Locus of Control and satisfaction. The findings revealed gender difference in LOC scores, with males scoring lower on the LOC scale, thus being more 'internally' rated than females. Findings from Phase 2 showed that the LOC mean for the interviewed group was higher a t the beginning 0 f the course, decreasing at the end of the course, thus demonstrating the shift towards internality. The qualitative data reflected this shift particularly in the statements from the second interviews. The analysis of the LOC concept showed marked differences between statements of 'internally' and 'externally' rated students. These differences were observed in relation to all studied concepts. Those rated 'internal', were more focused and more definite in their explanations and also linked control to independent decision-making. Different explanations of control were offered from seeing it as 'power' and 'knowledge' to perceiving it as an 'ability to determine the outcomes of events'. Some 'externally' rated students commented on the 'hierarchy in nursing' and some saw themselves at the bottom of this hierarchy. This research also found that autonomy and professional accountability were perceived as one and the same by many students. Autonomy was strongly linked with control and expressed in similar terms and all the students in the interview sample considered it important to have personal and professional autonomy
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available