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Psychiatry Res. 2009 Aug 15;168(3):186-92. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2008.06.002. Epub 2009 Jul 1.

Locus of control: relation to schizophrenia, to recovery, and to depression and psychosis -- A 15-year longitudinal study.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois College of Medicine, 1601 W. Taylor (M/C 912), Chicago, IL 60612, United States.


The present prospectively designed 15-year longitudinal research was conducted to study whether locus of control is linked to diagnosis, to major symptoms, to functioning and recovery, and to personality for schizophrenia patients, depressive patients, and patients with other major disorders. The research studied 128 patients from the Chicago Follow-up Study at the acute phase and reassessed them 5 times over a 15-year period. Patients were evaluated on locus of control, global outcome, recovery, premorbid developmental achievements, psychosis, diagnosis, depression, and personality variables. 1) After the acute phase, schizophrenia patients were not more external than other diagnostic groups. 2) Internality is significantly associated with increased recovery in schizophrenia. 3) A more external locus of control was significantly related to depression. 4) The relationship between externality and psychosis was significant. In severe psychiatric disorders a more external locus of control is not specific to schizophrenia and after the acute phase is not associated with one particular diagnostic group. A more external locus of control is significantly related to fewer periods of recovery, to both depressed mood and psychosis, and to various aspects of personality.

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