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Health locus of control beliefs and socio-economic differences in self-rated health

Poortinga, Wouter ORCID:, Dunstan, Frank David John ORCID: and Fone, David Lawrence ORCID: 2008. Health locus of control beliefs and socio-economic differences in self-rated health. Preventive Medicine 46 (4) , pp. 374-380. 10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.11.015

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Background. Social inequalities in health are well documented in the social epidemiology literature. However, less is known about the mechanisms linking individual and area-level socio-economic status to health. In this paper we examine whether health locus of control (HLC) beliefs can help to explain socio-economic differences in self-rated health using the multidimensional HLC scale. Methods. Data for this study come from the Caerphilly Health and Social Needs Survey (n = 10,892). Multilevel modelling was used to examine the variation in HLC beliefs across different socio-demographic groups and levels of neighbourhood socio-economic status, and to investigate whether HLC beliefs mediate the health effects of individual and neighbourhood socio-economic position. Results. This study found that the HLC scales were significantly associated with individual and neighbourhood socio-economic status, as well as with self-rated health. HLC beliefs appeared to mediate some of the health effects of individual socio-economic status and to a lesser extent the health effects of neighbourhood socio-economic status. Conclusions. Some evidence was found that HLC forms part of the pathway between individual and neighbourhood socio-economic status and health. Future research should further explore the psychological consequences of living in economically deprived conditions, alongside material, social and behavioural processes, and examine how this impacts upon people's health and well-being.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health locus of control; Socio-economic status; Self-rated health; Multilevel modelling
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0091-7435
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 12:21

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