Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Locus of control, Adult children of divorced parents-Psychology, Divorce-Psychological aspects, Man-woman relationships, Satisfaction, Parental divorce, Relationship satisfaction


Previous research has found that parental divorce influences both locus of control (LOC) and relationship satisfaction, and LOC also influences relationship satisfaction; therefore, LOC may play a mediating role in the relationship between parental divorce and relationship satisfaction. The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the relationship between LOC and satisfaction in adult romantic relationships, comparing participants from intact and divorced families of origin. The influence of gender, age when parents divorced, and current age was also explored based on the following hypotheses: that parental divorce during early childhood would yield a more external LOC while parental divorce at an older age would yield a more internal LOC; that female participants would be more likely to have an external LOC; and older participants would have a more internal LOC. Additionally, this study hypothesized that an internal LOC would be associated with more relationship satisfaction in participants from both intact and divorced families. Finally, it was expected that offspring of divorced parents with an external LOC would have the lowest satisfaction in current relationships while participants from intact families with an internal LOC would report the most relationship satisfaction. The sample included 57 total participants who completed anonymous, internet surveys, including a demographic questionnaire, Rotter's Locus of Control Scale (1967) and the Relationship Satisfaction Scale. No statistically significant relationships were found between LOC and age, LOC and gender, LOC and age at parental divorce, LOC and relationship satisfaction, nor parental marital status and relationship satisfaction. The implications of these findings for practice and research are discussed in light of the study's methodological limitations.




iv, 57 p. : ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 41-44)