Locus of control orientations in students with intellectual disability, learning disabilities, and no disabilities: A latent growth curve analysis

Karrie A. Shogren, James A. Bovaird, Susan B. Palmer, Michael L. Wehmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Previous research has suggested differences in the locus of control (LOC) orientations of students with intellectual disability, learning disabilities, and no disabilities, although this research has been characterizedbymethodologicallimitations. The purpose ofthis study was to examine the development of LOC orientations in students with intellectual disability, learning disabilities, and no disabilities using an accelerated design and a curve-of-factors modeling framework. Participants were 1,344 children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18 years who completed two measures of LOC orientations. Students with intellectual disability, at 8 years, tend to be more externally oriented than their peers with learning disabilities and no disabilities, and from 8 to 20 years, they do not significantly increase or decrease in their perceptions of their ability to exert control over their lives. Students with learning disabilities and no disabilities tend to develop more positive orientations as they age; however, this similar pattern of change was offset by initial differences in level (i.e., intercept values). The findings suggest the critical need for continued attention to developing and implementing strategies that focus on promoting the development of adaptive perceptions of control in students with disabilities, particularly students with more severe disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-92
Number of pages13
JournalResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2010



  • Intellectual disability
  • Latent growth curve modeling
  • Learning disabilities
  • Locus of control
  • Self-determination
  • Special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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