The relationship between multidimensional health locus of control and perceived behavioural control: How are distal perceptions of control related to proximal perceptions of control?

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    Abstract

    The present article tests the predictive and convergent validity of distal and proximal indices of perceived control, as measured by multidimensional health locus of control (MHLC) and perceived behavioural control (PBC), across 12 health behaviours. The study (n = 235) employed a cross-sectional design and examined 12 health-related behaviours: binge drinking, fruit and vegetable consumption, exercise, eating junk food, safe sex (condom use), teeth brushing, teeth flossing, cigarette smoking, blood donation, taking vitamin supplements, using marijuana, and attending health screening. Respondents completed questionnaire measures of MHLC, health value, PBC, and behavioural intention. The data were analysed using a combination of between- and within-persons correlations and hierarchical multiple regression. Between-persons analyses showed that although MHLC accounted for 4% of the variance in behavioural intentions whereas PBC accounted for 21%, PBC did not fully mediate the effects of MHLC on intention. Within-persons analyses demonstrated that internal health locus of control was predictive of the within-persons correlation between PBC and intention, suggesting there may be a dispositional basis to perceived control. Further work that examines the relationship between distal and proximal perceptions of control is required.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)723-738
    Number of pages15
    JournalPsychology and Health
    Volume18
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

    Keywords

    • Hierarchical linear modelling
    • Multidimensional health locus of control
    • Perceived behavioural control

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