The Examination of Relationships between Academic Self-Efficacy, Academic Procrastination, and Locus of Academic Control of Athletes in Different Sports

Authors: Zehra CERTEL1, Melek KOZAK2
(1) Akdeniz University, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Turkey.
(2) Karamanoğlu Mehmetbey University, High School of Physical Education and Sports, Turkey.

Corresponding Author:
Zehra CERTEL
Akdeniz University, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Turkey
Konyaaltı/Antalya, 07070
zcertel@akdeniz.edu.tr
(0242) 310 6825

(1) Zehra CERTEL is an assistant professor in Physical Education and Sport Education Department at the Akdeniz University studying teaching and learning approaches in physical education and sport.

The Examination of Relationships between Academic Self-Efficacy, Academic Procrastination, and Locus of Academic Control of Athletes in Different Sports

ABSTRACT
The aim of this study is to examine locus of academic control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy of athletes participating in university sports games in terms of academic achievement, sport branches, and gender. Moreover, it is aimed to reveal the relationship among locus of academic control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy. The sample of this study consisted of 302 athletes (individual athletes = 121, team athletes = 181) participating in the 13th “KOÇ SPORT FEST” University games organized in Antalya, Turkey. The average age of athletes is 21.45 ± 2.22 and the average license years of them are 8.43±3.93. The personal information form, “Locus of Academic Control Scale,” “Academic Procrastination Scale,” and “Academic Self-Efficacy Scale” were used as data collection tools. In the analysis of the data, since the data showed normal distribution, a t-test was used for paired comparison; and the Pearson correlation coefficient was used for examining the relationship among variables. There is a statistically significant difference between external locus of academic control and academic procrastination in terms of the gender of the athletes. The academic achievement of the athletes is significantly different from their academic self-efficacy, locus of control academic external and internal, and academic procrastination. External locus of academic control is significantly different in terms of participating on a team or individually. Significant relationships have been found among external and internal locus of academic control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy. When external locus of academic control in athletes increases, academic procrastination levels within them increases. When internal locus of academic control in athletes increases, the self-efficacy level within them increases. It is found that male athletes have higher scores on external locus of academic control and academic procrastination than female athletes. Athletes with high academic success have better internal locus of academic control and academic self-efficacy scores. Athletes participation on team sports have higher external locus of academic control scores than individual athletes.

Keywords: Locus of academic control, academic procrastination, academic self-efficacy, athletes.

INTRODUCTION
There are many tasks and responsibilities that students have to deal with in their university life. However, it is important to fulfill these tasks and responsibilities within a certain amount of time. Students’ academic success and their relations with people can be hindered by procrastination behaviors. In literature, procrastination behavior is defined as lack of self-regulation skill, intention to hinder and completely avoid an activity voluntarily (60). Academic procrastination, which is a reflection of daily life procrastination behaviors to school life, is “retarding or leaving the tasks and works to the last minute” (27). Senecal et al., (1995) defined academic procrastination behavior as a motivational problem including more than weak time management skills and laziness features (51). This condition generally results in students studying for exams less than they plan, accordingly they do not satisfy their lessons and get low scores (59). Some studies (Ellis & Knaus, 1977; Solomon & Rothblum, 1984; Potts, 1987) reported that more of the university students displayed procrastination behaviors (20, 55, 40). In related studies, it was found that academic procrastination behaviors correlated with forgetting project delivery time, delaying to prepare for exams, and low academic success (11, 16, 34, 42, 65). In other research, academic procrastination correlated with communication understanding, non-effective learning strategies, low grade point average, feeling bored, unplanned working habit, unrealistic excuses, anxiety, fear of failure, depression, irrational thinking low self-esteem, low self-efficacy, and low self-control (15, 23, 27, 33, 51).

Research revealed that individuals having internal locus of control were more successful in terms of academic achievement, self-motivation, time management, and personality traits (10, 18, 53, 68). Locus of control is defined as the beliefs that individuals perceived whether the positive and negative conditions or reward and punishment are the results of their own actions or the results of external powers (43). Rotter (1989) examined humans under two groups impending external and internal control in terms of personality and defined internal controller individuals as believers to change their environment for their benefit and external controller individuals as persons believing that they are under the control of the environment (44). Thus, locus of control refers to a concept related to what or whom the individual’s farm out as the reasons of the experiences they live. While being internally controlled is a positive trait, being externally controlled is the opposite and constitutes obstacles in human life (68). Internal students who know that academic success is dependent upon them give more importance for every single detail to reach their goals (13). Thereby, it is understood that internal controlled individuals use time more effectively and react constructively when faced with obstacles (69). In this regard, internal controlled individuals will show less procrastination behavior.

Self-efficacy belief, one of the examined variables in this study, is a concept that Bandura (1977) has proposed with the Social Learning Theory which is the center of this theory (8). Self-efficacy, in progress of time, is a belief that develops through experiences. Individuals can increase their self-efficacy beliefs through direct experience, observation of others, or listening to others’ comments (35). Academic self-efficacy is defined as the beliefs of students to their abilities for successfully completing an academic task (72). While Bandura (1997) has suggested that academic self-efficacy is the belief of students to be successful in an academic subject area, Sirois (2004) has defined academic self-efficacy as the perception related to the abilities and features directing individuals’ efforts to get achievement of planned educational goals (8, 54). In related literature, there are some results showing that academic procrastination tendency increases provided that the belief that the student can accomplish many things decreases (27, 31, 56, 60, 61, 66).

There are many studies into academic procrastination (7, 38, 2), academic locus of control (9, 49, 63) and academic self-efficacy (62, 1), which have important roles to predict students’ success. There is a study titled “Personality, Academic Self-Efficacy, Academic Locus of Control and Academic Procrastination Among University Students” conducted by Albayrak, Yazıcı, and Reisoğlu (2016) (4). However, there are no studies conducted by the participation of athletes in a certain sport branch and those studying at university. With this regard, the aim of this study is to examine locus of academic control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy of the athletes participating in the university sports games in terms of academic achievement specifically pertaining to grade point average (GPA), sport branches, and gender.

METHODS
Research Model
This descriptive study is a relational screening model of survey models. A relational screening model is the research model that aims to specify simultaneous changing existence and/or degrees between two or more variables (30).

Population and Sample
There were 302 athletes from the branches of athletics (n=106), basketball (n=25), gymnastics (n=2), soccer (n=66), handball (n=20), archery (n=13), and volleyball (n=70) that participated in the University Games of the 13th Türkiye Koç Spor Fest between 9-17 May 2016. The mean age scores of the athletes were found to be 21.45±2.22 and year of licenses mean score was found to be 8.43±3.93. Demographic information about the athletes is displayed in Table 1.

Table 1. Demographic Information about the athletes
Table 1

In Table 1, of the participants, 37.7% are female (n=114) and 62.3% are male (n=188). Freshman (n=103), sophomore (n=85), junior (n=58) and senior (n=56) university students participated in the study. Most of the participants are students in faculty of sports sciences (78.8%, n=103) and there were also participants from different departments (21.2%, n=64). Students reported that they do individual (n=181) and team sports (n=121). The GPA of the students were examined in two ranges as 1.50-2.49 (35.4%, n=107) and 2.50-3.90 (64.6%, n=195). The mean score of GPA was found to be 2.69 (ss=448).

Data Collection Tool
Academic locus of control, academic self-efficacy, academic procrastination, and the personal information form were used to collect data, respectively. The Academic Procrastination Scale developed by Çakıcı (2003) determines academic procrastination behaviors in students and includes 19 items related to tasks that students are responsible to fulfill in their learning experiences (17). The scale is a 5-point Likert type. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of original scale was found to be 0.92. Test-retest correlation coefficient was found to be .89. Cronbach’s alpha value was found to be .81 in this study (19 items). The higher scores of the scale refer to higher level of academic procrastination. Academic Locus of Control development, validity, and reliability studies of the academic locus of control were done by Akın (2007) (3). The scale, conducted to 647 university students, has two sub-scales as academic internal locus of control and academic external locus of control, is a 5-point Likert type and has 17 items. Internal consistency reliability coefficients of internal and external academic locus of control were found to be .97 and .93, respectively. It can be said that the higher scores in external and internal subscales refer to higher levels in related features of students and the scale has no reverse item. Internal consistency reliability coefficients of academic internal and external locus of control were found to be .81 and .79 in this study, respectively. Academic Self-Efficacy Scale, developed by Jerusalem and Schwarzer (1981) and adapted to Turkish by Yılmaz, Miraç and Ekici (2007) (71). Validity and reliability studies were done by the participation of 672 university students. The scale is one-dimensional and a 4-point Likert type, and has 7 items. Cronbach’s alpha value of the original scale was found to be .79. In this study, this value was found to be .68.

Data Collection
The data was collected by researchers. There were 302 athletes from the different branches participating in University Games of the 13th Türkiye Koç Spor Fest between 9-17 May 2016.

Data Analysis
Collected data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics. The results of Kolmogorov-Smirnov normal distribution test showed that the data has normal distribution. In addition to descriptive analysis, a t-test for two-variable comparison and the Person correlation for relationship between variables were used.

RESULTS
In this section, results of the t-test show whether athletes’ scores of academic locus of control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy differ according to gender are displayed in Table 2.

Table 2. Analysis results of athletes’ scores of academic locus of control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy according to gender
Table 2

*p<.05

In Table 2, athletes’ external academic locus of control (t=-3.640, p=.000; p<.05) and academic procrastination scores (t=-4.044, p=.000; p<.05) showed significant differences according to genders. The male athletes' scores of external academic locus of control and academic procrastination were higher than females. Additionally, statistically no significant difference was found between academic locus of control (t=.038, p=.970; p>.05) and academic self-efficacy (t=-1.499, p=.135; p>.05).

Analysis results of an athletes’ academic locus of control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy in terms of GPA are shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Analysis results of athletes’ academic locus of control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy according to GPA

Table 3

*p<.05

In Table 3, athletes’ external academic locus of control (t=2.295, p=.023; p<.05), internal academic locus of control (t=-2.550, p=.011; p<.05), academic procrastination (t=2.586, p=.010; p<.05) and academic self-efficacy (t=-2.783, p=.006; p<.05) showed statistical differences according to GPA. Athletes having a high level of GPA reported higher level of internal academic locus of control and academic self-efficacy and low level of external academic locus of control and academic procrastination when compared to athletes having low level of GPA.

Analysis results of athletes’ academic locus of control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy in terms of sport branches are shown in Table 4.

Table 4. Analysis results of athletes’ academic locus of control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy in terms of sport branches

Table 4

*p<.05

When Table 4 was examined, while external academic locus of control of athletes doing individual and team sports showed statistically significant difference (t=3.133, p=.002; p<.05), no significant differences were found between external locus of control (t=.701, p=.484; p>.05), academic procrastination (t=.645, p=.520; p>.05) and academic self-efficacy scores (t=1.524, p=.129; p>.05).

The relationships between academic locus of control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy are displayed in Table 5.

Table 5. The relationships between academic locus of control, academic procrastination and academic self-efficacy in athletes’

Table 5

**p<.001

When Table 5 was examined, while positive and midlevel correlation was found between external academic locus of control and academic procrastination (r=.423, p=.000; p<.05), no significant relationship was found between external academic locus of control and internal academic locus of control (r=.022, p=.708; p>.05), academic self-efficacy (r=.009, p=.881; p>.05). While positive and midlevel relationships were found between internal academic locus of control and academic self-efficacy (r=.412, p=.000; p<.05), no significant relationship was found between internal academic locus of control and academic procrastination (r=.027, p=.640; p>.05). Statistically no significant relationship was found between academic procrastination and academic self-efficacy levels of athletes (r=.077, p=.181; p>.05). When athletes’ external academic locus of control increase, academic procrastination also increases, and when internal academic locus of control increases academic self-efficacy increases.

DISCUSSION
The following findings were revealed in the study aimed to examine locus of academic control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy of the athletes participating in the university sports games in terms of academic achievement, sport branches, and gender. The following is a report of the relationships between these variables.

In this study, external academic locus of control and academic procrastination of male athletes were found to be higher than females. Prohaska et al. (2000) found that male students reported higher scores in academic procrastination than female students (41). Similar results were found in the studies conducted in Turkey (51, 2, 6, 7, 25, 26, 29, 64). There are studies reporting that there are no significant differences between genders in terms of academic locus of control (19, 22, 46, 45). There are studies reporting that male students have higher scores in internal academic locus of control than females (58, 48, 67). In this study, no significant difference was found between genders in terms of academic self-efficacy. Yildiz et al., (2015) and Senel (2013) reported no significant difference between genders in terms of this variable (70, 52). As it is seen, different results were found between genders in terms of internal and external academic locus of control. It can be said that these differences stem from the sample group.

In this study, it was found that athletes having a high level of academic success reported a higher level of internal academic locus of control and academic self-efficacy and a lower level of external academic locus of control and academic procrastination when compared to athletes having low levels of academic success. Erbaş (2009) found positive and statistically significant relationships between academic success level and internal academic locus of control (21). According to Sarıçam and Duran (2012), while individuals make internal academic locus of control functional in an experience in which they are successful, they prefer external academic locus of control when faced with failure (47). Nunn and Nunn (1993) found positive and high-level correlation between academic successes of individuals having internal locus of control (37). Furthermore, Anderson et al., (2005) suggests that internal motivation, self-control, and self-efficacy levels of students having internal locus of control are high, they take responsibility and they are more effective to find and use required information (5). The results of the studies in literature support this research.

In this study, while doing individual and team sports had no impacts on academic locus of control, academic procrastination, and academic self-efficacy, athletes doing team sports reported higher scores in external academic locus of control than individual athletes. This result can be explained in this way: In the study titled “The Effects of Sport on Personality,” Koruç and Bayar (1989) have compared athletes participating on team sports and individual sports at the national level and have suggested that athletes doing team sports are more extraverted, social, active, enterprising, and socially compatible. Whereas, athletes participating in individual sports are more creative, less enterprising, more reactive, and introverted (32). With this, it can be said that athletes participation in team sports have a more active social life and benefit from the opportunities to spend time with their friends when compared to individual athletes. With this regard, it is more likely to link their academic failure to their environment.

In this study, positive and midlevel correlations were found between external academic locus of control and academic procrastination, and internal academic locus of control and academic self-efficacy. Therefore, while athletes’ external academic locus of control increases, academic procrastination increases; internal academic locus of control increases while academic self-efficacy increases.

Research revealed that individuals having high level of self-efficacy beliefs displayed less academic procrastination behaviors (31, 56, 66, 2).Whereas Brownlow and Reasinger (2000) found that university students having external locus of control displayed more academic procrastination tendencies (12), Carton (1999) reported that students having internal locus of control showed less academic procrastination (14). Golzar (2006) concluded that internally controlled students were more successful to take responsibility and accordingly in academic experiences (24). Şengüder (2006) stated that externally controlled individuals often have mental problems and they academically failed (57). Consequently, it can be said that the belief of individuals, linking the reasons of their experiences, to deal with every condition they will face in the future increases. The results of the studies support these findings.

CONCLUSION
As a result, male athletes were found to be externally controlled and were more likely to have academic procrastination tendency than females. Athletes participating in team sports reported higher external locus of control. Whereas, those having a higher level of grade point average reported to be internally controlled, to have higher level of academic self-efficacy, and lower level of academic procrastination tendency. While external locus of control scores increase, academic procrastination increases, and academic self-efficacy increases while internal academic locus of control increases.

University students doing individual and team sports train throughout the year and participate in competitions. Correspondingly, they have challenges attending classes, they postpone their academic task and as a result, they fall behind in the class. Because students falling behind in the class due to absenteeism are not able to complete their academic task, their academic self-efficacy is affected negatively, they see problems stemming from themselves or external reasons. Accordingly, it is important to examine academic self-efficacy, academic procrastination behaviors, and academic locus of control of university student athletes and relationships between there concepts to increase their achievement. Improvements can be made by overcoming the inadequate aspects of student athletes in the direction of these results. Psychological counselor help can be provided for students to overcome procrastination behaviors, to develop internal locus of control, academic self-efficacy, and problem-solving skills. Academic self-efficacy levels and academic success of student athletes can be increased by organizing seminars and courses related to locus of control and time management.

RECOMMENDATION
This study is limited with the participation of athletes that competed in the 13th Koç Spor Fest. It is suggested that future studies should include a wide sample group of athletes and examine the effects of doing a certain sport on academic procrastination, academic locus of control, and academic self-efficacy. Moreover, it is important to conduct studies related to having academic procrastination decreased and having internal locus of control and academic self-efficacy increase. These types of studies should target to develop problem solving skills.

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