Multidimensional health locus of control: comments on the construct and its measurement

J Health Psychol. 2005 Sep;10(5):633-42. doi: 10.1177/1359105305055307.


In the present commentary, the theoretical construct of Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) is described and evaluated in terms of its contributions to health psychology. This concept is compared to other control beliefs, in particular to perceived self-efficacy. It is argued that MHLC has supplied health psychology with essential insights and has offered a great deal of intellectual stimulation. Nevertheless, for some applications, different constructs might be more promising, in particular when it comes to predicting health behavior change. MHLC measurement, specifically its factorial structure, its proximity to health outcomes and health behaviors and its cultural sensitivity are addressed. Further refinement of the instrument is recommended, and the range of promising applications needs to be clearly defined.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Culture
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Motor Activity
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Self Efficacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*