Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Harry Robe, Leroy Metze, Carl Martray

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Thr. purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate factors related to adaptive behavior or nonacademic behavior and the ability to function in everyday life situations. Preschool children and their mothers served as subjects for the investigation. The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1967), the Nowicki Strickland Internal-External Locus of Control Scale for Children (Nowicki and Strickland, 1973), and the Circles and Unusual Uses Tests (Torrance, 1966a) were administered to twenty-five kindergarten children. In conjunction, the Adaptive Behavior Inventory for Children from The System of Multicultural Pluralistic Assessment by Mercer and Lewis (1977), which is a structured interview, was administered to each child's mother since she is the person most familiar with outside of school functioning. The data were analyzed using a multiple regression analysis in order to find the variable or set of variables that best related to adaptive behavior. It was hypothesized that the child possessing a high level of adaptive behavior would be internally controlled and highly creative. It was also hypothesized that no significant difference between the genders would be found and that no relationship to intelligence would exist. The adaptive behavior factor was viewed as a separate and independent measure which is needed to comprehensively assess a child's functioning. Results supported adaptive behavior being an independent factor since no significant correlation was found with intelligence. A trend appeared between adaptive behavior and locus of control, with the internal child possessing a higher level of adaptive behavior. More research is needed to support the importance of adaptive behavior in the preschool child.


Child Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences