Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Clark Campbell

Second Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal

Third Advisor

Rodger Bufford


This study investigated factors that may contribute to the development of social responsibility in college students. A sample of 31 male and 69 female students attending either a private Christian university or a non-religiously affiliated private university participated in the study, completing the Starrett (1996) Global Social Responsibility Inventory (GSRI) and an accompanying research questionnaire. Subjects were recruited from general education courses at the two universities and received extra credit for their participation. This study examined factors contributing to high scores on the three sub-scales of the GSRI: 1) Global Social Responsibility scale (GSRS) 2) Responsibility Toward People scale (RPS) 3) Social Conservatism scale (SCS). Variables found in the literature and hypothesized to promote social responsibility considered in the study were: self-efficacy, exposure to injustice, parental modeling, annual familial income, participation in organized religion, the importance of religion and/or spirituality, church attendance, previous service experience, predicted future participation in community service, and gender. Results indicated that students from the private non-religious university scored higher on the GSRS. Students from the religiously affiliated private university scored higher on the SCS and both universities had similar means on the RPS. Multiple regression analysis indicated that predicted future participation in community service accounted for 11% of the variance and the importance of religion and or spirituality added another 5% to the variance on the GSRC. For the RPS, future participation in community service accounted for 16% of the variance and familial annual income added 4% to the variance. In regard to the SCS, the importance of religion and/or spirituality accounted for 20% of the variance. Annual family income added 4% and anticipated future participation in community service yielded only 2%.

Overall, these findings provide partial support for the hypothesized relationship between social learning, interpersonal and motivational factors, gender, and family income, and scores on the GSRS. Anticipated future participation in community service, family income, importance of religion, and gender proved to be the most important factors in predicting social responsibility as measured by the scales in the present sample. However, none of the regressions or Pearson correlations were very strong. Thus, much of the variance in social responsibility remains unexplained.

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