A decade of research in locus of control: what have we learned?

J Adv Nurs. 1991 Jul;16(7):800-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.1991.tb01759.x.


Locus of control has received considerable attention from nurse researchers over the past decade. A review of nursing studies related to locus of control reveals that the collective results of this research have yielded little information that is useful for nursing practice. It is noted that many of the criticisms levelled at locus of control research at the beginning of the decade are still problematic. For example; most studies are correlational in design; instruments used to measure the construct suffer from reliability and validity problems; researchers have failed in many cases to consider the multidimensional nature of the construct; and in most studies the value of the reinforcer is ignored. If future research in this area is to lead to useful results, nurse researchers must be prepared to move to experimental designs, and must pay greater attention to issues of reliability and validity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease / psychology
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Long-Term Care / psychology
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Nursing Research / methods
  • Nursing Research / standards*
  • Nursing Research / trends
  • Patient Compliance
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology