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Soc Sci Med. 1994 Jul;39(2):213-20.

Multidimensional health locus of control beliefs and psychological health for a sample of mothers.

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  • 1Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Medical School, University of Otago, New Zealand.

Abstract

Five multidimensional health locus of control (MHLC) types for 772 women whose children are enrolled in a longitudinal study of their health and development were identified. The MHLC is composed of an internal and two external dimensions (chance and powerful others). The five independent MHLC clusters were: pure internal; believer in control; pure chance; yea-sayer; and nay-sayer. Women with high scores on the three dimensions of the MHLC (yea-sayer) compared with the rest of the sample were significantly more likely to be from a lower socio-economic status, score lower on a general verbal intelligence test and higher on the Neuroticism and Lie Scales of the Eysenck Personality Inventory. They rated their overall health as significantly poorer, and reported more symptoms of depression compared with the other groups. A pure internal locus of control was strongly associated with the report of good health. Women with a strong belief in internal and powerful other loci of control were significantly more likely to have received treatment for their depression compared with other groups. Help-seeking for children's problem behaviour did not vary significantly with MHLC groups. The present study replicated five out of six MHLC types identified in an earlier study, and established the external validity of the MHLC types on measures of health status. The findings support the use of MHLC types in future research on health locus of control.

PMID:
8066500
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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