Assessing the Relationship Between Locus of Control and Social Competence in Pediatric Burn Survivors Attending Summer Camp

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Abstract

Previous research suggests that children with burn injuries often exhibit psychological and social difficulties. The areas of functioning that are affected most often include level of anxiety, social competence, and self-esteem. Those children having an internal locus of control (LOC) have been shown to react more positively to physical disorders and to have better psychological responding in nonburn populations. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between LOC and social competence in pediatric burn survivors. Participants were children aged 8 to 18 years who had been treated for a burn injury and attended a 1-week summer camp for pediatric burn survivors. Results indicated that the type of LOC was not a predictor of the overall level of social competence, as reported on three different measures of social competence. However, LOC significantly accounted for variability in the child's cooperation level, according to parent report. Other results are discussed, as well as implications for future research and clinical work in this area.

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