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Multidimensional Control Beliefs, Socioeconomic Status, and Health

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Abstract:

Objectives: To investigate the role of control beliefs in the relationship between SES and health. Methods: Two different aspects of perceived control – contingency beliefs (locus of control) and competence beliefs (self-efficacy) – were examined in relation to subjective SES and physical health outcomes (subjective health, functional impairment, chronic health problems, and acute health symptoms) in a diverse sample of undergraduates (N=231). Results: Low self-efficacy was directly associated with poorer health outcomes and mediated the relationship between low SES and health, whereas locus of control did not. Conclusions: Health behavior interventions targeting generalized competence beliefs may benefit individuals from low SES backgrounds.

Keywords: CONTROL BELIEFS; HEALTH DISPARITIES; PHYSICAL HEALTH; SELF-EFFICACY; SES

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.37.2.10

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center, West Hartford, CT, USA. cgreene@uchc.edu 2: Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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