The Effect of Internal Locus of Control and Social-Emotional Learning on Life and Relationship Satisfaction

*Corresponding author: Sibylle Georgianna* and Jennifer Jagerson

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original research



The current study examined the impact of a non-governmental organization’s academic tutoring and mentoring program on the social-emotional learning (SEL) and subjective well-being of 240 marginalized young women.


One-hundred-fifty-nine currently enrolled 7-12th grade students with a mean age of 16.39, SD=1.55; 40 students who were enrolled in college with a mean age of 20.25, SD=1.57, and 25 who had graduated from college with a mean age of 22.48, SD=2.16 and their leaders participated.


All participants completed in a survey that assessed the degree of participants’ locus of control, expectations of success (self-efficacy), current goals and career-related aspirations and their satisfaction with their relationships and life in general. Twenty-one of the participants and all leaders also were interviewed.


Regression analyses revealed that both the participants’ self-management and the leader’s locus of control were significant predictors of the participants’ internal locus of control. Congruent with interview findings, latent structural equation analysis revealed that three manifest variables of social-emotional learning, “self-management”, “social awareness”, and “self-efficacy” had direct positive effects on participants’ subjective well-being (i.e., their satisfaction with life and relationships).


Culturally sensitive approaches to mentoring and training are needed and helpful. Future research should be carried out to mitigate design limitations and further the current study’s addition to the body of research on social-emotional learning and well-being.


Self-management; Self-efficacy; Social awareness; Social-emotional learning (SEL); Internal locus of control; Life satisfaction; Relationship satisfaction; Subjective well-being (SWB).