POVERTY AND THE SENSE OF CONTROL
 
Palomar, J. and Trejo, L.M.V., Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico
 
The objective of the present investigation was to find the probable existence of statistically significant differences in locus of control related to the level of poverty. The studied population consisted of 900 subjects classified in three groups: extreme poor, moderate poor and non- poor. All the subjects were economically independent. In order to measure the variable, a scale elaborated by La Rosa (1986) had been used. The results allow to appreciate that the groups of higher socio-economical level (moderate and non-poor) presented significant more internal locus of control, while the subjects of the extreme poor level showed more external locus of control. On the other hand, it can be observed that men and subjects between age 36 and 72, presented a more internal locus of control than women and the younger subjects (between 19 and 35 years old). The same relation could be established taking in account the level of education: subjects with higher education (undergraduate and graduate programs) showed a mayor tendency towards internality than the subjects with no-education, or with a low educational level (elementary and medium school). It also could be observed that the level of education of the parents influences the locus of control. In general terms, it can be stated that the variables predicting best the locus of control, are the family income and the educational level of the subjects. Keywords: Poverty, Socioeconomic Status, Locus of Control, Sense of Control, Internality, Externality.