Relationship of health locus of control with specific health behaviours and global health appraisal : a meta-analysis and effects of moderators

Cecilia Cheng*, Mike W.L. Cheung, Barbara C.Y. Lo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Health locus of control (HLOC) refers to beliefs regarding how one’s health is influenced by oneself, others, or fate. This meta-analysis investigated whether three HLOC dimensions (internality/I-HLOC, powerful others/P-HLOC, chance/C-HLOC) were related to both specific health behaviours and global health appraisal, and whether these relationships were moderated by gender and age compositions, individualism, and power distance. Three-level mixed-effects meta-analysis was performed on studies examining the associations of HLOC with specific health behaviour (k = 76, N = 76,580, 57% women, Mage = 43.75) and global health appraisal (k = 95, N = 12,068, 57% women, Mage = 45.44), respectively. For specific health behaviour, the averaged correlations with the HLOC dimensions were generally weak (r’s = −.07 to.10). However, the links between P-HLOC and exercise were moderated by all four demographic moderators, and gender composition and individualism moderated the association between the HLOC dimensions and diet. For global health appraisal, all of the averaged correlations were statistically significant (r’s = −.16 to.21), except that between P-HLOC and mental quality of life. The results further showed individualism and power distance to moderate the links between the HLOC dimensions and both mental and physical quality of life, and gender composition to moderate those between these dimensions and two indicators of emotional problems (depression and anxiety).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-477
Number of pages18
JournalHealth Psychology Review
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Health
  • health appraisal
  • health behaviour
  • locus of control
  • perceived control
  • quality of life

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