Locus of control in chronic anxiety disorders

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1985 Dec;72(6):529-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1985.tb02650.x.


The relationship between psychopathology and the personality trait, locus of control, was examined in 116 adult outpatients diagnosed as having chronic anxiety disorder. Measures consisted of state and trait scales, a measure of social adjustment, and a measure of disturbance during childhood. Patients with an external locus of control were more depressed, had higher levels of state anxiety, and exhibited more indecisiveness, fatigue and agoraphobia than those with an internal locus of control. Externally oriented patients also scored higher on neuroticism and trait anxiety and scored lower on social adjustment. On the somatic scales, externally oriented patients rated themselves, in contrast to physician's rating, as being more symptomatic than internal patients, suggesting the presence of a help-seeking attitude. Locus of control may be of importance in the formulation of therapy and prognosis in patients with anxiety disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Social Adjustment