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

Abstract:

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.

journal_name

Prev Med

journal_title

Preventive medicine

authors

Poortinga W,Dunstan FD,Fone DL

doi

10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.11.015

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2008-04-01 00:00:00

pages

374-80

issue

4

eissn

0091-7435

issn

1096-0260

pii

S0091-7435(07)00494-X

journal_volume

46

pub_type

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